GetOffYourGas wrote:Not surprising at all. Does this not completely nullify the supposed benefit of Uber when it first came out? I thought the intent was to provide transportation to passengers when you were going to be travelling anyway, and not to become a one-man taxi service.
IMO the intent behind Uber was to replace full-time, licensed taxi drivers with benefits with unlicensed contractors with no benefits.
The average taxi cab driver made $25,020 in 2011, according to the BLS. This salary is a combination of payments for fares and tips from passengers. Cab drivers do not have very generous work benefits compared to other fields.
Of course, the ultimate result will be AV ride-sharing. As Travis Kalanick said, the driver is 70% of Uber's costs:
"It starts with understanding that the world is going to go self-driving and autonomous," he told Business Insider in an interview.
"So if that's happening, what would happen if we weren't a part of that future? If we weren't part of the autonomy thing? Then the future passes us by basically, in a very expeditious and efficient way," he said.
I've recently read a very up-to-date (it mentions both the Uber and Tesla fatal crashes this year) book on AVs by an industry insider, Larry Burns:
https://www.amazon.com/Autonomy-Quest-D ... 1CA2C0KHVC
Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World
Burns' Wiki bio is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Bur ... al_Motors)
He knows most of the people working in the area, and I had listed the previous book he co-authored after leaving GM in the EV Bibliography topic as follows:
"Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century"; Mitchell, William J; Borroni-Bird, Christopher E.; and Burns, Lawrence D.; 2010. Describes how urban cars can be transformed by a combination of four ideas: transforming the DNA (i.e. design principles) of autos, via electric drive and wireless communications; The Mobility Internet, data sharing between vehicles, parking spaces, roads etc. to minimize congestion and travel time; integration of EVs with a Smart, clean grid; real-time controls for urban mobility and energy systems, i.e. dynamic pricing for electricity, roads, parking, and shared vehicles. Burns was VP of R&D at GM from 1998-2009, Borroni-Bird was Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts, also at GM; Mitchell is a professor at MIT, and head of the Smart Cities Group there.
Burns was Borroni-Bird's boss at GM. BTW, in case anyone thinks the skateboard chassis idea was Tesla's, nope:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsa ... 4382e17b30
Meet The Father Of The Auto 'Skateboard' Chassis Used By Tesla: Chris Borroni-Bird
And here's Burns' introducing it back in 2002 on the concept vehicle: https://goo.gl/images/ZeM8ph
I'd previously mentioned this 2016 book:
https://www.amazon.com/Driverless-Intel ... less&psc=1
Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead (The MIT Press]
Which delves more into the individual technologies and how they work, while Burns' book is more about the people (Page, Brin, Thrun, Musk, Kalanick, Urmson, Levandowski etc.), and the conflicting philosophies. Burns isn't a fan of semi-autonomy (he's been consulting with Google's AV division since long before they were spun off into Waymo), and his view of Tesla's A/P decisions match my own. Both books discuss the DARPA Challenges in some detail, Burns from the perspective of GM sponsoring one of the competitor's (Carnegie-Mellon U) efforts, and in "Driverless" from one of the co-authors who was a member of one of the teams.