Uber has exploded onto the scene over the past few years. In almost every major city in America (with the exception of Rochester, ugh) Uber is available to pick you and your friends up and get you where you need to go. The business has been incredibly lucrative thus far, with the company being valued at $40 billion. However, Uber is sure to face a unique challenge in the future: autonomous cars.
Autonomous cars are vehicles that are able to drive, and navigate themselves, with no human assistance. Autonomous cars are the pinnacle of todays automotive innovation. The technology is awesome, and will lead to less accidents, and of course less road rage. Nearly everyone is excited about the recent innovation of these vehicles; with the exception of Uber drivers.
Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, says that Uber will not only embrace the future, but will “optimistically lead through it”. This means that as autonomous cars become the norm, Uber will use the cars as well .When this happens, Uber’s drivers will be out of luck. Fortunately for drivers, there will be the possibility to work new jobs within the company. Whether it is existing jobs, or new jobs created because of autonomous vehicles remains unknown.
Of course there won’t be enough positions for each driver, so it is inevitable that some will find themselves out of work. With Uber even developing their own self-driving car technology, it seems that this is a near- sighted goal.
There is no denying the technology is extremely innovative, and will begin to start changing how people get und, but will it be bad for business? I see the potential of new drivers deciding against working for Uber because they know they will be replaced. Also, current drivers may feel the same way, and decide to pursue other avenues for cash. There is also the possibility of people not feeling safe getting into a self-driving car, especially during the early stages.
Would you get into an autonomous Uber feeling safe and confident it will get you to your destination? Time will tell.