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Submission to the Inquiry
into automated mass

Standing Committee on Infrastructure,
Transport and Cities
Parliament of Australia
December 2018

Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38

Uber welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Inquiry into Automated Mass
Uber is a technology company that provides a smartphone application to connect driver
partners with people who need safe, reliable rides. Founded in 2009, Uber now serves over
600 cities, and facilitates more than fifteen million rides every day. Since our Australian launch
in 2012, Uber is now available in 39 cities across the country, with around 3.8 million active
Since launching the Uber app in Australia, ridesharing has changed the way people move
around Australian cities. Through our innovative technology, we are working on a range of new
products to help our cities move better. Uber Eats is now available in 18 cities across the
nation, connecting thousands of restaurants in Australia with millions of customers.
Australia and New Zealand have led the world in openly regulating the point to point transport
market, allowing for competition, complementarity and innovation between different types of
point to point services. This open regulation also provides a platform for transport providers,
users and regulators to innovate further to increase the efficiency and utility of the entire
transport ecosystem.
Uber’s journey in Australia
Data from Sydney for November 2018 and November 2013. The colour of each ‘hex’ indicates the average wait time for Uber pickups
in that area (where a darker hex represents a shorter average wait time).
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
Executive summary
Uber’s technology has the power to transform the way we think about transport, infrastructure
and urban development, and improve urban mobility and the quality of life for people living in
cities around the world.
This submission outlines some of the ways that technology is changing Australia’s cities and
transit networks. It outlines Uber’s vision for the future of transport, and how governments can
leverage technology to deliver better outcomes for Australians.
At Uber, we believe the best cities of the future will combine great public, active and shared
modes of transport to develop integrated, optimised transit networks for communities.
Ridesharing is already changing how our cities move, with technology like Uber’s
complementing and expanding the reach of public transport by getting more people into
fewer cars.
Increasingly, companies like Uber are investing in new technologies that help people connect
with the right mode of transport for the right journey. In this vision of the future, Australians will
be able to choose the best modes for each journey, and the combination of a shared bike to
the train station with an Uber Pool scheduled to pick you up at the other end can offer a better
journey than choosing to drive yourself.
In the long term, Uber believes that the future of transport will be shared, automated and
electric. However, governments have the potential to unlock tremendous benefits in the near
term for cities and travellers by leveraging technology like Uber’s.
These new technologies will be most effectively and efficiently deployed through shared
fleets. This approach improves access to technology which is otherwise prohibitively
expensive, thereby familiarising consumers and speeding adoption; encourages a shift away
from private car ownership, thereby reducing the size of the vehicle fleet and space required
for parking; and manages the risk of increased ‘vehicle miles travelled’ and related sprawl,
congestion, and environmental impacts by combining trips and using infrastructure more
In its deliberations on the future of automated mass transit, Uber encourages the Committee
1. Acknowledge the Federal Government’s role in leading public debate on urban
development and the future of transport;
2. Acknowledge the significant role that technology, including ridesharing and Uber, can
play in improving the connectivity of cities;
3. Urge governments to direct state and federal regulators to embrace innovative
4. Explore opportunities to work within existing resources to achieve better outcomes for
members of the travelling public; and
5. Urge all Australian governments to investigate innovative partnerships with third party
organisations to deliver better transit solutions for Australian cities.
We look forward to working with the Committee to explore new, innovative ways to deliver
better outcomes for the Australian public.
Inquiry into automated mass transit

Submission 38
Uber in Australia
Ridesharing and the future of cities
Uber’s technology has allowed us to improve urban mobility and the quality of life for people
in cities across the world.
Uber is able to access parts of cities where other means of transportation do not go. City
transit systems provide important mobility options, but often do not cover all areas. This leaves
many neighbourhoods underserved by affordable and reliable access. Uber is able to extend
the reach of public transportation by providing reliable services for areas that are traditionally

Submission 38
In Australia, over 60 per cent of Uber trips start or end in a public transport desert3. And almost
half of all trips are one-way, implying that for some suburbs, for at least part of the day, public
transport is unavailable to cover either the outbound or return leg. In this way, ridesharing
complements public transport where reliable service is unavailable. Ridesharing provides a
flexible and scalable solution to the ‘last mile’ problem, connecting riders from their door to a
transport hub.

Submission 38
Advanced carpooling systems and Uber Pool
Perhaps most importantly, smartphones have made carpooling possible at scale for the first
time. One of the products we have in placed in large cities, Uber Pool, makes it easy for
people headed in the same direction at the same time to share the journey, getting more
people in fewer cars.

In Australia, Uber Pool is now available in parts of both Sydney and Melbourne.
A report conducted by the International Transport Forum - a research arm of the OECD -
describes a future in which all trips are completed by a fleet of shared-use vehicles in a
configuration similar to Uber Pool. The report predicted that such a model would result in
congestion disappearing, a 33 per cent reduction in traffic emissions, and that the distance
driven by shared cars would be 37 per cent less than today, even during peak hours.4 This has
now been used as a basis to develop shared mobility simulations for Auckland.5
Over time, these trips become a perpetual ride: a driver picks up one person, then another,
then drops one off, then picks up another. It is on demand, hyper convenient and more
affordable because the cost of the trip is shared. That makes it less expensive than owning a
car and a real game-changer for cities - by providing a convenient, cost effective alternative
to ownership, we can start to reduce the total number of cars.
Pooling technology is about using private cars for public good, because by getting more
people in fewer cars, we can increase urban mobility and help reduce congestion and
pollution over time, all within existing taxpayer resources.
4 International Transport Forum (ITF), Shared Mobility: Innovation for Liveable Cities, May 2016.
5 International Transport Forum (ITF), Shared Mobility Simulations for Auckland, Nov 2017.
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
Urban planning and Uber Movement
Over the past six and a half years, we have learned a lot about the future of urban mobility—
and what it means for cities and the people who live in them. We have seen how more access
to transportation and the use of private cars for public good can change both where and how
we live for the better.
In select jurisdictions around the world – including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth –
Uber has also launched Movement, a website that uses Uber’s data to help urban planners
make informed decisions about our cities.6
Uber trips occur all over cities, so by analysing a lot of trips over time we can reliably estimate
how long it takes to get from one area to another. Since Uber is always available, we can
compare travel conditions across different times of the day, days of the week, or months of
the year, as well as how travel times are impacted by big events or road closures.
For city officials, Movement gives detailed historical insights to enable them to measure the
impact of road improvements, major events, new transit lines and new traffic policies. For
planners and policymakers, the tool enables them to conduct complex analysis on
transportation patterns, which allows for better decision making around future infrastructure
In October 2016, Uber and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) first partnered to provide
new insights on how our major cities move through the launch of the IPA Transport Metric.
Leveraging Movement data, Uber and IPA monitored the impact of planning and
infrastructure decisions on real journey times in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.7
This is only the first step. City planners face a myriad of challenges, and we hope to help tackle
more of them over time. We are excited to partner with city officials, urban planners and
research organizations to continue building features that today’s transportation planners need.
6 Uber Movement.
7 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Australian Travel Time Metric, 2017.
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
Uber in the future:
what’s next?
Technology has changed the way we live. Take the smartphone – a tool that has made the
previously impossible, possible.
Just eight years ago an iPhone lacked the battery power for a service like Uber to function.
Today, over 60 per cent of all internet traffic comes from mobile, and half of that is driven by
Urban transport has also experienced its own revolution, with ridesharing apps allowing riders
to connect with drivers through an app by just pushing a button. Passengers no longer need
to call and book, or stand on a street corner or queue in a taxi stand hoping a taxi will come
along. Within an average of around four minutes in Australian metropolitan cities, you can now
get ride from A to B at the touch of a button.
However, point to point transport is just the beginning.
Uber now has the opportunity to leverage existing technology to deliver more innovative and
efficient solutions for members of the travelling public.
Uber is committed to unlocking multi-modal point to point transport to enhance the reach of
the public transport ‘spine’ of the city to more citizens, at more times of the day and night. By
embracing new modes of transport like eBikes, integrated Uber Pool solutions and beyond,
governments will be able to offer a more efficient, sustainable transport network.
Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
Uber sees the future of transport as connected, integrated and seamless, with the ability to
push a button and get from A to B using multiple transport offerings - all done by leveraging
technology to make the experience as frictionless as possible. Imagine pressing a button to
take an Uber Pool to a train station, get on a train, and take an eBike to get you the ‘last mile’ to
the office - all arranged, scheduled and paid for using a single app.
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the aggregation of multiple transport mobility solutions into a
unified service or app.
At its simplest level, MaaS offerings combine transportation services from public and private
transportation providers through a single app - from point to point transport through to bike
sharing, public transport integration and even urban aviation. This represents a shift away from
individual, siloed, modes of transport toward a convenient, seamless point of activation for
Uber looks forward to continuing to work with governments across Australia to develop
innovative, integrated solutions that put the consumer first.
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
New modalities and micro-mobility
At Uber, our goal is to reduce personal car use by providing alternative ways to get around
efficiently and sustainably. Until recently, Uber primarily meant a ridesharing and pooling. In
February 2018, Uber expanded its focus to new modalities, with riders in San Francisco given
the option to book a JUMP bike — an electric-assist smart bike — using the Uber app. For the
first time, riders could choose seamlessly between two very different transportation modes in
our app.
The results of offering micro mobility alternatives have been encouraging. Overall, trip
frequency (Uber + JUMP trips) increased by 15 per cent after their first JUMP ride. The entire
increase can be attributed to the use of JUMP Bikes; Uber trips actually declined by 10 per
cent. During the workday (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) when congestion is at its worst, this
decline in early adopters’ Uber trips was even higher, 15 per cent.
To sum up, JUMP bikes were popular with these early adopters and some Uber trips,
especially during congested periods, were replaced by JUMP trips. This is a promising early
sign of the ability of eBikes to alleviate congestion and reduce car trips.
Under this multimodal suite of transport, passengers are able to switch seamlessly between
modes and reliably get to their desired destination.
Uber is committed to working with government partners to explore JUMP bikes and micromobility
solutions in Australia.
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
First and last mile
In 2014 more than half (54 per cent) of Australians said that the reason they do not use public
transport was that there was no service or none at the right time.8 Moreover, existing and new
public transport solutions may not be sufficient to meet future demands as Australian cities
grow in geographical size and population.
In response, as an alternative to traditional remedies to the first/last mile problem like
commuter carparks, some governments around the world have started turning to on-demand
transport solutions that can flexibly adapt to commuter behaviour and provide a service that is
tailored to individuals. Alternative solutions such as ridesharing services and mass-scale
carpooling are often more cost effective and more efficient than investments in fixed
infrastructure projects.
Uber sees ‘first and last mile’ solutions as an important part of the future transport mix. We
envision a multi-modal transport ecosystem whereby passengers leverage point to point
transport for first/last mile travel to complement their public transport journey.
This integrated transport model relies heavily on strong partnerships between governments
and point to point transport providers.
For example, Uber has partnered with the transit authorities in Atlanta, Los Angeles and
Minneapolis to provide a discount to commuters using Uber to complement public transport.
Programs such as ‘guaranteed ride home’ in Washington DC offer commuters who regularly
use pooling (twice a week) reimbursement for emergency travel outside of peak hours. In
Malaysia, Grab (a regional rideshare company) partnered with the airport train service, KLIA
Express, to offer discounts for passengers who use Grab to reach their final destination after
disembarking from KLIA Express Station in the city.
In the UK, Uber has partnered with Mobicia, London’s leading bus times app with almost one
million users per month. Uber is now integrated into the Mobicia experience, enabling
customers to order a ride via the Uber app to the nearest convenient bus stop for their
onward journey, improving access to public transport, especially in areas that are beyond an
easy walk to the bus.
In Australia, Uber has collaborated with Transport Canberra to provide Late Night Rapid
passengers with $10 discount if they used Uber to travel to and from bus stops. This was
launched over the 2016 New Year period and will operate for its third year at peak times over
the New Year period in 2018.
In developing more collaborative public transport networks by utilising existing technologies
and modalities, governments will be better positioned to implement automated technologies
when they become available.
On-demand public transport (ODPT)
Uber has been considering mechanisms to leverage our pooling technology to make other
forms of existing transport, for example bus networks, more dynamic and efficient. By applying
our technology to existing bus services, we will see the development of On-demand public
transport (ODPT) offerings - a way of travelling that is responsive and flexible, whereby
customers can request and pay for a public transport trip via the Uber app.
8 McCrindle Research, Getting to Work, February 2014.
Inquiry into automated mass transit
Submission 38
These services can help governments provide better access to transport for more people in
the community, in a cost-effective way. ODPT drives efficiency for riders and government
through our matching technology, and is set at a comparable price to public transport
(through government subsidies, but with a total fare comparable to or more competitive with
traditional forms of public transport). It can also be provided with vehicles that were not
traditionally part of the public transport ecosystem such as shuttles or sedans.
In Australia, some governments are already exploring how other models of shared transport
can positively impact urban mobility. For example, the New South Wales Government has
recently proposed an on-demand transport trial, with the Minister suggesting that “trials could
include special bus services on suburban routes that respond to where and when extra buses
are needed”.9
At scale, on demand services like this have the capacity to dramatically increase the efficiency
of existing public transport networks. We are excited to continue this conversation with
governments around the country in order to activate these initiatives and improve public
transport for all Australians.
Self-driving technology
At Uber we believe the future of mobility is increasingly sustainable, automated, and shared.
We are working with riders, partners, government, and industry bodies to create the safest
possible self-driving vehicles and make them a reality on the Uber network. Currently, Uber’s
Advanced Technologies Group is focused on developing safe self-driving technology and
bringing it to market in the United States.
We believe that automated driving technology can be:
§ Safer: Self-driving vehicles have the potential to drive more safely than a human driver.
Computers can look in all directions at once, and they don’t get distracted, fatigued, or
§ More cost-efficient: Operated in shared fleets at scale, self-driving cars can be cheaper
to operate than human-driven cars, improving the economics of ridesharing relative to
personal car ownership.
§ More time-efficient: Riders who now spend time driving on congested freeways can
reclaim this time for work or leisure. If sharing reduces congestion, these riders can also
have shorter commutes.

Kick poor Ant in guts

Well-Known Member
Apples CEO, recently commenting on the now tenuous future of their mega bucks Titan autonomous vehicle project admitted that Level 5 autonomy is many decades away because of the ultra complex task of negotiating urban traffic environments. Googles Waymo people are quietly leaking similar sentiments. The technical challenges are huge, but the killer challenge they’re facing is the ethical question.

For Uber to pontificate about autonomous capacity, is like reading a kids yr 8 essay. They are miles behind the Big 3 (Apple, Google, Tesla) - they just don’t have the ability to do what they say they’ll do. Uber are just a fraud.


Well-Known Member
Problem is if Uber stop talking about automated cars and electic helicopters that run on petrol then what do they have? They have expanded to about as far as they are going to and the future has to be downhill as competitors slowly take over parts of thier market.


Well-Known Member
Problem is if Uber stop talking about automated cars and electic helicopters that run on petrol then what do they have? They have expanded to about as far as they are going to and the future has to be downhill as competitors slowly take over parts of thier market.
And competitors are popping up all the time, even if a competitor only gains 1% of the market the potential is huge.