The NMA Foundation presents The Car of the Future weekly feature:
The obnoxious frat boy culture that was Uber came to a head this week when investors ousted founder Travis Kalanick. Recode.com wrote in the aftermath that one person and one blog post can make a difference. Perhaps the blog post was the tip of the iceberg but the rest of the mess has quickly surfaced. Scandal on top of scandal has riddled the ridesharing giant.
The company’s valuation at $70 billion, even though it has never turned a profit, is twice as much as Ford or GM. Uber grew at one of the fastest rates of any company ever but the start up/male dominated culture never had to grow up until now. The firing of Kalanick is the turning point. Can Uber survive the utter chaos it is now under or will some other giant come in, buy it up and clean house?
One thing that I always wondered about Uber is the drivers. Since 2014, Kalanick said over and over again that Uber’s future would be autonomous. Up until this week, drivers could not even receive a tip from riders.
A New York labor judge ruled this month that Uber drivers should legally be employees with benefits.
To me, drivers are the company and since the drivers have been treated so poorly, why would anyone want to drive for Uber or let alone ride with Uber?
Techcrunch this week wrote about the fact that even if and when Uber goes driverless, the company still has to deal with people—passengers inside the car and pedestrians/ bicyclists/drivers outside the car. Up until now, the brand Uber seemed they could do no wrong but in the future will Uber just be another brand no one respects?
Driver or driverless, Uber still has an image problem. Many ridesharing companies are now out there and a company like Lyft who is making all the right moves and finding all the right partners is poised to take over Uber’s gains.
If Uber grows up and detoxes from sexual harassment, driver harassment, local official harassment, lawsuits and just plain obnoxiousness, the company might have a chance. Right now, though, why would anyone want to drive for Uber or even hail an Uber. The best medicine is sometimes abstinence.
Here are some additional articles that you might find amusing that came out in the past few weeks:
From New York Post: Uber wants Sheryl Sandberg to be its next CEO
From International Data Group’s CSO website: Yes, Uber can – and will – get worse discusses Uber’s problem with hiring the data engineers and what they will do with all of their data now that no one is there to parse it.
From Wired.com: As Uber crumbles, Lyft builds its Future
From San Francisco’s KTVU Fox News: Clogged Streets: 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers in San Francisco grab lawmakers’ attention
* * *
The NMA Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting your interests as a motorist and citizen through the multi-faceted approach of research, education, and litigation. The Foundation is able to offer this assistance through tax-deductible contributions.
* * *
If you are interested in learning more about the Car of the Future check out the following NMA resources:
NMA Driving News Feed—Over 50 Car of the Future stories are placed each month in the NMA Driving News—the go-to source for all your driving news information from around the country.
NMA’s Flipboard Magazine called Car of the Future—Over 50 stories are placed each month in this magazine devoted to the Car of the Future. Stories featured include future car politics, industry news and thought pieces.
Follow the National Motorists Association on Pinterest Here OR
Follow individual Boards that have a specialized focus on the Car of the Future:
If you have an interesting story about the Car of the Future, please feel free to send us a link to the NMA Email address [email protected].
Thank you for your support!