Self-Driving Dominance

Date: 28 SEPT 2016posted by Car Rentaledited by WinX

Uber earlier this month launched their first mass test of self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh. It is a huge step for the ride-hailing service's ultimate goal to move from drivers to driverless. Uber's rival, Lyft decleared that within five years their company's autonomous cars would rule the road which would result in the disappearance of private car ownership in cities. This huge shift in Uber's new business model will be a major gamble. Their old business model required contracted drivers - not the company - carry all the costs and responsibilities for buying, fueling, insuring, cleaning and repairing the car which allowed the company to have light assets and expand rapidly. But owning a fleet of cars is very different compared to building an app and could backfire on Lyft and Uber. These vehicles will not be the stripped-down models commonly favored by car rental companies, but rather equipped with the latest in expensive and rapidly evolving autonomous technology. Car rental companies following a process for negotiating prices with auto companies to get models with the exactly the right features so they retain the highest resell value possible. The market to for a used self-driving taxi would be practically non-existent. John Zimmer, Lyft's founder claims there is a wide range of readily available options for financing and managing mega fleets since their cars would be provided by General Motors which invested $500 million in Lfyt earlier this year. Ford stated that by 2021, it will manufacture a high-volume fully autonomous car- without a steering wheel or foot pedals - specifically designed for a ride-hailing service. Some experts think companies like Ford and GM are actually better suited to be major ride-sharing players than their Silicon Valley competition since they already got the experience and infrastructure for building and servicing cars. The fight over the transportation's future has just begun and there are many players that have aligned together and many that have not, the only undeniable fact is that it is coming.

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