February 10, 2015 Leave a comment
It appears that Uber may have some stiff competition in the near future, as word has spread of a competitor app that would use self-driving cars.
You might say that Uber, an app-based transportation network based in San Francisco, has enemies on all sides. Following bad press generated by numerous articles describing shady business tactics and the mistreatment of employees, Uber has begun to face stiff competition—competition which now includes the technology giant Google, whom used to be a faithful investor in Uber.
Apparently, Google is preparing to roll out its own ride-hailing service. Given the money Google has pumped into research and development of their self-driving cars, it is easy to assume that the service offered by the app would be driven (bad pun intended) by self-driving vehicles. All of this comes from an unnamed source, which has allegedly seen screenshots of the app that is said to currently be in use by Google employees.
To make matters worse, if Uber lost Google as a business partner (and investing in competing ride-sharing apps seems to suggest this may happen), then Uber may be left in the dust when it comes to self-driving car technology. Currently, Uber has access to this technology because of their partnership with Google. However, should that tie be severed, then they would have to get their hands on that technology in some other way—likely through a partnership with another company with the same technology, or investing money in research and development to invent the technology themselves.
Regardless, things aren’t looking good for Uber. If Google isn’t the company to overtake Uber, then another company will rise to the challenge.
What do you think of a potential Google app that could offer rides from self-driving cars? Would you use this app if you could?