Re: I'm not sure I see how they get to profitability
You can't charge monopoly prices in a market sector with low (no?) barriers to entry.
Even if Uber have self-driving cars and nobody else does, if they put their prices up higher than local taxi firms charge, then the business will go to the local taxi firms again.
This is Uber's problem. Currently they have the brand recognition (people in London talk about getting an Uber), and you don't need to know the local taxi firm's number, because you just use the Uber app - but the other reason that worked, and that peole didn't just look up that local number was that Uber were also cheap. But they can only do that by subsidising every sale with a bit of their VC's money. Hence the massive annual losses.