At least in Western cities with high nominal minimum labor rates, TNCs like Uber/Lyft appear to be in retreat and may be signaling their permanent withdrawal from this marketplace. Indeed there are many signs this will be the case and that the real big idea will be fully automated Uber taxis, at least in the vision of the tech and financial industries such that this is already within their grasp.
The push back against employment or recognition of drivers as being a part of Uber appear fundamental and baked in the cake. Generally Uber keeps drivers at arm's length, with little contact except for as app and form feedback users. No phone contact with driver's was generally conducted at Uber. A lot makes very clear sense when taken from the perspective that driver's are a nuisance and an avoidable piece of the service supply chain, in the long term thinking of these transportation industry titans.
And yet, even though the TNC model relies on exploiting the unlimited and uncompensated use of driver's private capital assets including all unlimited operational costs, they can't sustain the market volume because of driver attrition at their market price points. All the signs point to TNCs giving up on the driver/rider model at some point in time. But they have validated the operation of a fantastic software experiment that is unparalleled in human history, and can use that knowledge and the data models for 1/2 of the Uber Robo-taxi technology, the selling and dispatching of vehicles for rides.
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