Uber's Financial Plan
Up to now, it seemed Uber's financial plan to profitability was to eliminate driver salaries from its ride-sharing service. How's it going to achieve profits now?
Uber has driven its self-driving car operation up an off-ramp that leads to the offices of a startup named Aurora that is building self-driving trucks and plans to eventually get around to the kind of vehicles used by Uber drivers. News of the exit came in a statement posted to both Uber’s and Aurora’s websites, opening with “ …
Because the people lending the tech companies massive amounts of money to eliminate all of the competition in the market by offering their services at a price less than the market price do expect that at some point they will make that (and more) money back somehow.
If they come to the conclusion it ain't happenning then they stop lending them money, at which point Uber has to operate off of their own income, rather than off of "loans". Which in turn means that offering a taxi service at a loss (of multiple billions a quarter) is no longer viable and they have to put their prices up to around the same level as everybody else in the market, which means they are no longer the cheapest thing around and they promptly get eaten alive by real competition.
I have to admit, I did think their business plan was somewhat inspired by South Park:
1) Spend vast amounts of money stealing underp^H subsidising taxi rides to drive all other taxi companies out of business
2) Develop AI taxis so they could fire all their drivers. Which wouldn't cost anything as the drivers are all "self employed"
3) Monopoly Profit!
If they've had to even partially abandon step 2), that leaves them with large amounts of debt and a lower chance of paying it off.
Admittedly, as other people have perhaps cynically noted, the execs of the company have no doubt already cashed out as much as they can.
But it does make me wonder if Uber itself will still be around, this time next year...
It's not really a sell-off though. They've bought a share in a self-driving company and used cash and their own self-driving operation to pay for it. So actually they're doing double or quits, but presumably recognising they don't have the cash to go it alone - so have chucked what they can into the pot and now it's time to hope-like-hell. Which really ought to be be Uber's motto.
Although weirdly they may actually now have a way to eventually make a profit. Not because of the taxis but from Uber eats. Which as I understand it now isn't loss-making everywhere, unlike Uber taxis are.
Fully autonomous self driving cars will be a thing around the same time I get a fully functioning Robo-butler™.
There would be more chances to achieve driverless cars with all vehicles under a central control that was glitch free, even that is not currently achievable and likely not very appealing to most people.
Fusion has been 50 years away the whole of my lifetime. I’ve just turned 55 so we’ve had fusion for 5 years now yipee! Except it’s still 50 years off. Unless the researchers want funding for their latest test rigs then it’s closer. But only temporarily.
The idea of Deep Thought and then The Earth is unrealistically naive. The development cascade was extremely heavily shortened for narrative reasons. Obviously.
Tesla would probably take issue with that.
Their (limited) self driving is extremely capable at what it does.
For those with a disability that limits their driving even lower levels of assistance can be game changing.
My current vehicle has basic lane keeping and ACC, which more than doubles the amount of driving I can do in a day (I couldn't do more than two hours in ideal conditions before, I can do more than four now).
Even if we just had "sliproad to sliproad" autonomy that would effectively given everyone a better drive on motorways, and have less tired people when they get to the little roads.
"Even if we just had "sliproad to sliproad" autonomy that would effectively given everyone a better drive on motorways, and have less tired people when they get to the little roads."
This is why so many of us here have been saying self-driving trucks on the motorways travelling depot to depot only are what should be the first target of public road autonomous vehicles, as the article intimated. And that's going to be a tough hurdle to jump as it is.
I don't think it's that tough a hurdle.
Tesla might be the only people collecting enough data to do it in a reasonable time frame though. My understanding is that autopilot is *always* running, and when the driver does something unexpected then. it flags that up for analysis/review. They have a significant number of miles driven, and an even greater number of miles "shoulder surfed".