Could Tesla be better than Uber?
Ride-sharing and ride-hailing apps have infiltrated everyday life everywhere in the world. It has benefitted both the passenger and driver through safety and convenience. Uber is one of the most popular ride-hailing apps that reside in people’s smartphones. It is widely used in Europe and the United States; however, Uber has a lot of competition even before Tesla comes in.
In different parts of the world there are apps similar to Uber. In Russia there is Yandex, but instead of being rivals they have joined forces. In addition to joining forces they have also agreed to purchase Russia’s largest taxi company further increasing their foothold into the market. Further south in China there is DiDi who has a complicated relationship with Uber. Spain has Cabify. In Malaysia there is Grab and Philippines has OWTO. Ride-hailing apps for motorcycles instead of four wheeled cars have even started popping out, Angkas being one of them.
Globally, it is clear ride-hailing apps have taken storm, and not all markets have definite leaders. Uber may be successful in many places, but they had to make compromises in some and unfortunately loss completely in others. New ride-hailing apps will continue to start even when if there are big companies already at large.
But if the market already has plenty of ride-hailing companies how can Tesla compete in the market? Tesla is not at all a ride-hailing company and are actually known for electric vehicles; however, they are also known for their cars having artificial intelligence to drive autonomously. That’s their edge over the competition.
If there’s one thing all the ride-hailing apps have in common it is having drivers behind the wheel. All of them have actual people. Elon Musk from Tesla aims to remove the driver from the equation. Self-driving cars have been an idea thrown around in sci-fi always and now it is closer than ever before.
The cars know how to drive with cameras and radars built-in. Musk stated that everything that’s needed for an self-driving car is already in a tesla, and the only thing to be improved is the software within. Teslas also have shadow mode wherein it observes other cars to learn from them and to apply what it would have done in the same situation.
The surprising thing is that this fleet of self-driving cars is coming closer than you would think. Tesla promises to have one million “robo-taxis” by 2020. Since there is no driver behind the wheel the fare will be lower, encouraging people to make use of Tesla’s self-driving cars instead of Uber, Lyft, Grab, and many more. Typically Uber costs 2-3 US dollars, but Tesla could be far cheaper and cost only 18 cents.
According to buildfire three million drive for uber, that far outweighs the one million robo-taxis Tesla promises to deliver by 2020. That isn’t the only obstacle for Elon’s company. What are the regulations and laws for self-driving cars? Uber themselves met a lot of controversy as a new business model in many parts of the world. It is likely Tesla could fan the flame even more.
Another thing to remember is that the United States has a very organized system for traffic, but it isn’t the same all over the world. There are many places in the world where lanes barely exist and cars criss-cross over each other as motorcycles get into tight spots and unexpectedly make turns. Tesla’s robo-taxis are coming, but not everywhere. This is good news for ride-hailing apps in countries where road safety is still a concern.
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