One sure sign that you have a good thing going is Google wanting to one-up you on it. Such is the case with news that Google is looking to compete with Uber by offering a low-cost taxi service –signalling an end to the relationship the two companies shared with Google Ventures having invested $258 million into the idea back in 2013.
How can Google do it better? Possibly with a partnership with their autonomous car program. With their foot already in neighbourhoods, Google would be able to use autonomous cars to offer inexpensive and quick trips to their clientele –not to mention the fact that using driver-less cars would eliminate some of the personal safety concerns currently being raised by critics of Uber’s business model.
It doesn’t look like Uber is going to just sit back while all of this happens –the company recently began a relationship with Carnegie Mellon University that has resulted in the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center (designed to have a focus on R&D).
These and other details are purely speculative at this point, but it seems safe to assume we will see continued reinvention of the ages-old taxi concept.