The next battle in the taxi-hailing war is self-driving cars

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  • 5 years ago
  • Posted: September 20, 2016 at 11:25 am

Almost every other week a new startup crops up in Kenya, hoping to reap with Uber’s farming methods. The last one was a Rwandan effort in the Kenyan market and it’s anyone’s guess how that one goes.

Uber, ever the king in this segment, having edged out other giants like EasyTaxi, is not sleeping on the job. It is seriously researching on the next hail-a-cab and motoring trend: Self-driving cars.

Soon, you will be able to hail a Uber taxi that will come driver-less. This is a business model that will eliminate the driver middleman and ensure Uber gets to keep all the revenue.

If this picks up, we will see a whole new shift in motoring and transport as a whole with automation riding shotgun. And this is not too far off. According to The Verge, Uber is already planning inroads into Detroit, America’s ‘Motor City’ after it rolled them out in Pittsburgh where you can now hail a driverless taxi, albeit in a limited public test. It also plans to open engineering facilities in Palo Alto and San Fransisco.

It is not alone in this, however. LeEco, the Chinese giant that produces phones and cars is also known to be developing such a vehice. Apple too is known to be secretly working on its own offering as well as Google’s well-known bubble-like self-driving cars.

Ford, the American motoring giant said it will begin offering rides in its own self-driving cars to employees of the company at its Dearborn, Michigan facility. Lyft, in collaboration with General Motors wants in on this pie too. It, in fact, is testing these in Phoenix and San Fransisco.

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Sherif Marakby, Uber’s Global Vehicle Programs Vice President said it is setting up its Detroit facility to allow Uber the chance to work with auto manufacturers in the area to develop the said autonomous fleet. We might have to brace ourselves a Little.


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