Our goal at autofleet has always been to enable asset-heavy fleets to lead the way to a sustainable and profitable future of mobility services. Fleets have to play a key role in the value delivery chain of autonomous mobility, as AVs will be managed and optimized in scaled fleets. At autofleet we believe this can start today, and traditional fleets — rental, leasing, car-sharing, taxi, public transportation — can leverage their strategic advantages to optimize existing operations and activate unutilized vehicles in new mobility services.

Not only can fleets become more efficient, but mobility services can be offered profitably, by ensuring maximum utilization of existing assets. This is an essential step to power the growth and adoption of mobility as a service globally. …

On September 10th, the California State Senate gave its final approval to AB 5, a bill requiring companies to treat contract workers (such as gig ride-hailing or deliver drivers) as employees, with all the implications for regulation of work hours, pay, benefits, etc.

The dust is far from settling on this one: Uber is already doing its Uber thing (Regulation? What regulation?), Lyft is performing jedi mindtricks on their drivers, and millennial news sites are declaring the coming of the neo-socialist revolution.

Image for post
Image for post
Gig-economy operators trying to channel a bit of Obi Wan

The next steps are sure to be interesting, as the platforms that have been powered until now by gig-economy drivers try to contend with the new requirements. But as most of the coverage is discussing the victory for gig workers and the death of ride-hailing as we know it, let’s talk about why this legislation could and should be a great development for the industry that will help realize the sustainable and profitable mobility business models we’ve been dreaming of. …

The automotive industry business model is going through its greatest disruption in 100 years, as private vehicle ownership gives way to mobility as a service. Private vehicle sales are waning, millennials aren’t getting their driver’s licenses, and cars are no longer seen as status symbols.

But nothing proves this trend better than rappers, who are swapping out the Cadillacs, Maybachs, and Bentleys from their lyrics in exchange for Uber and Lyft.

“Keep in mind when brothas start flexing the verbal skillz, it always reflects what’s going on politically, socially, and economically.”

— Musician Davey D

As noted by Davey D, rap lyrics have a way of reflecting societal trends, and rappers’ growing fascination with ride-sharing is no exception. Cars have always been an important part of hip-hop: from selling mixtapes out of the trunk, to rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice, and even providing one of the earliest driverless vehicles with ghost-riding. …

Autonomous vehicles have taken on an almost mythical status as the long-awaited savior of mobility: AVs will end traffic-related deaths, solve urban congestion, provide accessible mobility for all, end racism, and make rideshare companies profitable.

But as with any mythical savior, not everyone is a believer: AVs will still kill people due to various shortcomings (or by choice), worsen urban congestion, only serve the wealthy, spread racism, and will keep rideshare companies in the red forever.

Image for post
Image for post
Google autocomplete shows the polarized views on the future of AVs

While the rest of the internet continues exhausting itself with this debate, we decided to analyze for ourselves exactly what the autonomous future could look like.

It may be easy to forget that the rideshare industry, now worth $76 Billion (soon to be $285 Billion), and soon to bring us two of the largest IPOs in history, was founded on the concept of freelancing, part-time drivers, making an extra buck on the way. Even the name “ride sharing” comes from the original idea of “sharing” your vehicle with another person on your way to where you’re going. …

About

Adam Simkin

Been maximizing fleet utilization and minimizing unpaid miles as long as I can remember. VP Business Development @autofleet.io.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store