Getting Over Uber
Susan Crawford
886212

I see this as campaigning for horses while cars have already arrived. We’re less than a generation away from ubiquitous autonomous transport. A sea of self-driving always-available service cars dotted with private-use self-driving cars. Taxis will be an anachronism, just like horse transportation. An unknown person driving for you? In a random car? That had been idling gas rolling around the city? Requested by luck by holding out your arm and waving it at traffic?

In the near term, the loss of these jobs and this industry will be upsetting and tragic. But it existed for a need that will have been supplanted by better technology.

We’ll see first mover advantages gain an enormous windfall. Ford had it too. But in time (or shortly after), once the basic need for always-on transport is met, market opportunities (read: competition) will open for specialized self-driving transport networks: luxury, extra capacity, long-haul, and service-equipped (mini-salon, tailor). Maybe even the return of the cabbie who can have a chat with you, unencumbered by the distraction of having to drive.

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