Uber's conflicting self-driving fleet vision

Michael - Cleveland

Well-Known Member
Uber's conflicting self-driving fleet vision
Financial Times; Alphaville APRIL 12, 2019

We at Alphaville have for a long time argued
the economics of self-driving taxi fleets don't work.


If you're still not convinced, we recommend Uber's IPO docs, which were out Thursday.

First off, a cursory reading of the documents implies the main reason Uber is being propelled into the self-driving race is not necessarily because it thinks it's going to work for them, but because it fears if it doesn't the likes of Google and Tesla will eat their lunch.


From the S-1 (our emphasis):

We have invested, and we expect to continue to invest, substantial amounts in autonomous vehicle technologies. As discussed elsewhere in this prospectus, we believe that autonomous vehicle technologies may have the ability to meaningfully impact the industries in which we compete. While we believe that autonomous vehicles present substantial opportunities, the development of such technology is expensive and time-consuming and may not be successful. Several other companies, including Waymo, Cruise Automation, Tesla, Apple, Zoox, Aptiv, May Mobility, Pronto.ai, Aurora, and Nuro, are also developing autonomous vehicle technologies, either alone or through collaborations with car manufacturers, and we expect that they will use such technology to further compete with us in the personal mobility, meal delivery, or logistics industries. We expect certain competitors to commercialise autonomous vehicle technologies at scale before we do. Waymo has already introduced a commercialised ride-hailing fleet of autonomous vehicles, and it is possible that other of our competitors could introduce autonomous vehicle offerings earlier than we will. In the event that our competitors bring autonomous vehicles to market before we do, or their technology is or is perceived to be superior to ours, they may be able to leverage such technology to compete more effectively with us, which would adversely impact our financial performance and our prospects. For example, use of autonomous vehicles could substantially reduce the cost of providing ride-sharing, meal delivery, or logistics services, which could allow competitors to offer such services at a substantially lower price as compared to the price available to consumers on our platform. If a significant number of consumers choose to use our competitors’ offerings over ours, our financial performance and prospects would be adversely impacted.
And yet, the documents also reveal even Uber can't envisage a world where self driving fleets will ever be able to cater to all demand scenarios, and hence it expects to be reliant on human drivers (and their capital) for a long time yet.

For example (our emphasis):


[ read the full article here ]
 

goneubering

Well-Known Member
Uber's conflicting self-driving fleet vision
Financial Times; Alphaville APRIL 12, 2019

We at Alphaville have for a long time argued
the economics of self-driving taxi fleets don't work.


If you're still not convinced, we recommend Uber's IPO docs, which were out Thursday.

First off, a cursory reading of the documents implies the main reason Uber is being propelled into the self-driving race is not necessarily because it thinks it's going to work for them, but because it fears if it doesn't the likes of Google and Tesla will eat their lunch.


From the S-1 (our emphasis):


And yet, the documents also reveal even Uber can't envisage a world where self driving fleets will ever be able to cater to all demand scenarios, and hence it expects to be reliant on human drivers (and their capital) for a long time yet.

For example (our emphasis):


[ read the full article here ]
I expect Uber will eventually pull the plug on their SDC program.
 

Lee239

Well-Known Member
The only reason Uber and Lyft can make money is because people are letting them use their car, maintenance, depreciation, labor, and gas and Uber keeps at least 25% to over 50% of the fare. But even with that they can't make money because they can't think of enough stupid ways to lose money instead.
 

Michael - Cleveland

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
The only reason Uber and Lyft can make money is because people are letting them use their car, maintenance, depreciation, labor, and gas
Correct - drivers are donating the majority of the TNCs operrating expense in order to build those company's brands. It's charity.
...and Uber keeps at least 25% to over 50% of the fare.
No, it doesn't. That's a myth (true for only some small portion of rides). And if as a driver you can afford to cherry-pick and drive only profitable rides, Uber/Lyft can end up paying the driver more than the rider paid for the trip.
 

uberdriverfornow

Well-Known Member
I expect Uber will eventually pull the plug on their SDC program.
Probably not long after the IPO. In the end the industry is going to have to concede that there will always have to be a human in the car while the car attempts to drive itself, which really defeats the purpose of a true self driving car.

Basically it'll be like a tesla currently is. Press the button and watch the car try to drive itself while the human keeps watch, just like a plane pilot does.
 

Friendly Jack

Well-Known Member
No, it doesn't. That's a myth (true for only some small portion of rides). And if as a driver you can afford to cherry-pick and drive only profitable rides, Uber/Lyft can end up paying the driver more than the rider paid for the trip.
But it's Uber enabling the type of rides (Pool) that may be unprofitable and, most importantly, it's Uber setting the rates and rate calculation methodology, not drivers. Most of this is an insipid quest (pun intended) for dominant market share, for which the burden primarily falls on drivers.
 

jocker12

Well-Known Member
Probably not long after the IPO. In the end the industry is going to have to concede that there will always have to be a human in the car while the car attempts to drive itself, which really defeats the purpose of a true self driving car.

Basically it'll be like a tesla currently is. Press the button and watch the car try to drive itself while the human keeps watch, just like a plane pilot does.
Ubers SDC division will be absorbed by Toyota which is also working with Stanford University

Meanwhile .... Lyft is trying to boost new investors confidence in Self Driving Cars technology with Waymos help


Expect Waymo vandalized cars to get involved in more small and big accidents.
 

jocker12

Well-Known Member
Vandalize a SDC and it will lock you inside and deliver you to the nearest police station! :smiles:
You are funny.

The media is teaching people how to do it.


It also can be done using bubble gum you’re chewing when getting inside the car.

Without video evidence and after few other riders took rides around the city without observing how the camera is covered, you have nothing. Only a vandalized (let’s say with cut leather in between the seats) car.
 
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Michael - Cleveland

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
The media is teaching people how to do it.
...because people are really, really dumb and need the media to tell them how to put a piece of tape over a camera lens. Right.
It also can be done using bubble gum you’re chewing when getting inside the car.
And then, all the company would have is live video of you looking for a camera or cameras and covering the lens up with something... and of course the silence of the audio, because riders pranking via vandalism are sure to be dead silent as they try to damage the car (while also likely video recording themselves doing it).
Without video evidence and after few other riders took rides around the city without observing how the camera is covered, you have nothing. Only a vandalized (let’s say with cut leather in between the seats) car.
Yup, because the companies that are smart enough to develop, deploy and manage SDCs are clearly going to be too stupid to figure out how to monitor their cars or the passengers in them.

Sorry for the sarcasm, lol - just seemed appropriate.
 

goneubering

Well-Known Member
...because people are really, really dumb and need the media to tell them how to put a piece of tape over a camera lens. Right.
And then, all the company would have is live video of you looking for a camera or cameras and covering the lens up with something... and of course the silence of the audio, because riders pranking via vandalism are sure to be dead silent as they try to damage the car (while also likely video recording themselves doing it).
Yup, because the companies that are smart enough to develop, deploy and manage SDCs are clearly going to be too stupid to figure out how to monitor their cars or the passengers in them.

Sorry for the sarcasm, lol - just seemed appropriate.
I think most of the damage done to SDCs will be “normal” wear and tear done by drunks. That’s IF “self driving” cars ever become a real thing which is doubtful at this point.
 

jocker12

Well-Known Member
live video
Do you really believe this, or is a joke?

covering the lens up with something
Let me know when this will qualify as a crime.

Yup, because the companies that are smart enough to develop, deploy and manage SDCs are clearly going to be too stupid to figure out how to monitor their cars or the passengers in them.
Do you have any ideas about how to do it, because "the companies" actually are not smart enough? - https://uberpeople.net/threads/self...e-the-most-disgusting-spaces-on-earth.228332/
and
"Sarah Abboud, an Uber spokesperson, said that the company doesn’t have a plan for dealing with the aftermath of people getting sick or making other serious messes in self-driving cars, in part because the vehicles Uber’s testing now still have backup human drivers. “Since we have an operator in the car, we have not really explored exactly what that looks like,” Abboud said. She added she imagines that such messes would probably be handled in the same way the company plans to handle general cleaning: dispatching the car to a facility for a human to clean it and get it back on the road. There are currently two operation centers that clean the driverless cars Uber is testing, one in Phoenix and one outside Pittsburgh. Perhaps Uber would create more of those, Abboud suggested."

"The lack of strategy from these companies seems to reflect a naïve view of what people are like and of how much invisible labor drivers put in to keep their cars clean. According to Nix, Uber expects passengers to take out their own trash today, and “expect that to continue for self-driving ride-sharing.” But that ignores the way the dynamics will inevitably change. Today, people may have social guilt about intentionally littering in the car of a person inches in front of them in the driver’s seat. Even if they don’t, if a passenger leaves the odorous, crumpled remains of a late-night McDonald’s run or a mess of a more biological nature behind in a taxi, a human driver will be there to see it, clean it up, and maybe roll down the windows to air out the car. Oh, and to ding the passenger with a cleanup fee. A human can do these things easily. A robot can’t: There’s no sensor for grime, mess, or stink. " - https://slate.com/technology/2018/05/who-will-clean-self-driving-cars.html

Sorry for the sarcasm, lol - just seemed appropriate.
No problem. If this is actually not a joke, do you believe self-driving cars are here already?
 
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TwoFiddyMile

Well-Known Member
You proponents of SDCs are amusing. I also love science fiction.
Singapore claimed they'd have a fleet of self driving taxis by 2018.
Waymo promised big things. Anyone ever take or drive a Waymo? Of course not.

SDCs will be a reality some day. 20 years from now.
Keep dreaming :smiles:
 
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