It Looks Like Uber Wants to Take Away Your Right to Drive
Ride sourcing giant Uber has been in the media spotlight so much recently that it’s hard to keep up with what it’s done lately. It has been criticized for everything you can imagine, and it has been pissing off cities around the world, including London most recently.
Uber’s biggest sin yet, however, is what it aims to do to the public going forward. Read on to find out how Uber will try to force everybody to use its service — on page 5 — and see if you need to rethink using the transportation startup.
1. Uber’s rep
Uber’s reputation has suffered in recent years. According to a Statista study on the subject, 57% of the survey’s 1,500 respondents currently have either a neutral or negative opinion about Uber. The study was conducted after all the negative press came out about the company.
Around 69% of respondents in the study reported that before all the bad press, they had a positive opinion about Uber. And, a whopping 56% of respondents who have ditched Uber did it as a result of that bad press.
Next: More bad news
2. Uber’s latest bad news
In March 2018, a self-driving Uber SUV — with a backup driver behind the wheel — hit and killed Arizonan Elaine Herzberg, according to Bloomberg. This is the first time someone has died because of an autonomous vehicle, and it serves as yet another setback for the company in its bid to go public in 2019.
Pedestrian identification is an issue with self-driving cars. Although the vehicles use camera, radar and lidar data to “see” the world around them — traffic, signs, stoplights, pedestrians, and everything else in their paths — identifying pedestrians continues to be a major challenge.
Next: The numbers
3. Uber’s financials
All of the bad press about Uber has affected its financials, according to CNBC. Its fourth-quarter financial results show that losses rose by 61% in 2017. And the company lost $4.5 billion in 2017 as opposed to only $2.8 billion in 2016.
That said, during CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s first full stretch at the company — the fourth quarter — Uber losses were only $1.1 billion, which was lower than the third quarter’s 1.46 billion. In addition, revenue shot up 14% — to $11.1 billion from $9 billion — during Khosrowshahi’s time at the helm. At the end of 2017, Uber made around $6 billion in cash, which is still 13% below its 2016 revenues.
Next: Now look what Uber has done.
4. Uber’s latest move
In 2018, Uber — and 15 other transportation startups — signed a document called Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities, according to the news website VB. The short-term car rental company ZipCar authored the document, which proposed transportation services adopting livability, zero emissions, and sustainability principles.
Although a city “adopting” those principles typically means it will increase mass transit subsidies and implement more bike lanes on city streets, the document is calling for transportation startups to take things to a new level to effectively mitigate traffic congestion.
Next: You may not like what Uber is pledging to do.
5. Uber’s second pledge
There is more you need to know about the Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities Uber signed. It just happens to have another pledge in it that says, “We support that autonomous vehicles (AVS) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets.”
And here’s what that means: Uber — as well as other ride services — wants to outlaw anyone personally owning a self-driving car in a central city, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Instead, it wants corporate fleet owners — which Uber and Lyft see themselves being in the near future— to entirely control automated road vehicles in the urban marketplace. Interestingly, this would mean Uber would effectively create a monopoly, something it was initially fighting against.
Next: A fix
6. Stopping Uber in its tracks
Because Uber wants to take over all automated road vehicles in central cities, someone has already come up with a solution, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That solution is for states to make local policies regarding self-driving cars. And some states are already on board. Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas have all preempted municipal and county governments from implementing ordinances that forbid self-driving cars.
According to CEI, it’s imperative that other U.S. cities put similar ordinances in place before transportation startups make their moves.
Next: Adapt or die.
7. The people speak
People are heated up about the thought that transportation companies might try to corner the market on self-driving vehicles. One Reddit user said, “The hypocrisy of a disruptive technology being upset about technology that could disrupt their technology.”
In addition, he went on say that transportation companies should welcome changes to the industry and “ … adapt their executive mindset to include the fact that no personal driver would willingly allow them to monopolize self-driving cars.”
Next: Uber never had ideals.
8. If it could, Uber would ban all cars
Another aggravated Reddit user said that the startups’ entire business plans from the beginning were to “ … fu** up the taxi companies+local regulations and take advantage of a bad economy by letting the general public take all the burdens of service while keeping the profit for themselves.”
He added that because Uber drivers might become unnecessary soon that they “would to ban all cars, not just driverless, from the roads so they have them to themselves.” He also said that Uber never had any ideals — and that the typical Uber passenger “dreamed otherwise, to sooth their own complicity.”
Next: Uber aimed for this.
9. Uber wanted a monopoly
Yet another really mad Reddit user was hating on Uber regarding its signing that document. He wrote, “Literally their only way to profitability, from the get-go, has been to aim for a monopoly. They may be the most unprofitable venture in existence, and they probably posted a net loss close to $5 billion last year. Customizers are paying less than half of the true cost of every ride. The rest is paid out of their silicon valley billionaire venture capital war chest of 15 billion (at peak), in the hopes of ruining all competition before the money runs out.” Ouch.
And this Reddit user was “uber” irritated, writing, “People need to stop putting these Silicon Valley sh** heads on a pedestal. They’re in it for the money and only the money. They don’t give a flying fu** if their product is actually superior in any way or the impact of their business on overall welfare. These people are not your friends.”
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