After all the buzz about self-driving, driverless cars some people are getting excited including ride-sharing service Uber. Its CEO Travis Kalanick said at the recent Code Conference that driverless cars could pave the way for a future where people can just choose not to own a car and still get around.
Kalanick says that driverless cars could lower costs for consumers, meaning that calling a car might well be cheaper than owning one. Uber, for instance, is pricy as you're not paying just for the car but for the person driving said car.
Uber's been in the news of late for causing the ire of London cab drivers who aren't taking too kindly to the service.
Dude, where's the driver?
Kalanick didn't do himself any favours by showing little sympathy for drivers whose livelihoods are being threatened by Uber and the coming of driverless cars, saying: "Look, this is the way of the world, and the world isn't always great." He said that we all need to find ways to change with the world.
What actually drew the ire of the London Taxi Drivers Association is the way Uber calculates fares. Since Uber is a private hire, it can't use meters but the smartphone app which negotiates Uber fees is, taxi drivers contend, a meter of its own.
In other news, Uber seems to be doing fairly well and it is reported the firm is currently valued at US$17 billion, making it a ripe funding magnet.
And to show it's here to stay, Google has even integrated Uber into its mobile Maps app. What we'd like to see is perhaps Waze or Google incorporating not just Uber but other mobile transport apps like MyTeksi and the likes, freeing people from always needing to depend on driving their own cars.
Uber is still just getting started in this part of the world and cabs don't find them much of a threat due to Uber's pricing (significantly higher than an ordinary cab) but who knows what might happen if driverless cars make their way here?