Uber, Lyft, and ZipCar: “We support that autonomous vehicles (AVS) in dense urban areas should be operated only in...

Uber, Lyft, and ZipCar: “We support that autonomous vehicles (AVS) in dense urban areas should be operated only in…

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Uber, Lyft, and ZipCar: “We support that autonomous vehicles (AVS) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets.”

In other words, no private ownership of self-driving cars. Uh-huh…

Originally shared by Christopher Lamke

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/it-used-to-be-uber-vs-taxis-now-its-uber-vs-you

36 comments

  1. Of course they do! Can’t have that pesky notion of private ownership interfering with their revenue stream!

  2. Of course they do! Can’t have that pesky notion of private ownership interfering with their revenue stream!

  3. If there is no private ownership – then the fleets would have to be owned by cities – as public property for mass transit.

  4. If there is no private ownership – then the fleets would have to be owned by cities – as public property for mass transit.

  5. I never heard of the ZipCar before…

  6. I never heard of the ZipCar before…

  7. My automotive company is itself still a concept, but the mind races, so I consider mine to be an informed opinion, and I can at least tell you what I have in mind for my own fleets.

    You already got a clue there. It makes little sense to build autonomous vehicles only to turn around and sell them to someone else to make money from. Of course I want to build fully manual vehicles as well as Level Fours and Fives, but with the possible exception of CKDs (complete knock-down kits), I think Tellurian Motors will retain ownership of all vehicles built by Tellurian Motors. Yes you can lease or rent — but it always has to come back, sooner or later.

    Maybe that sounds crazy, but bear in mind that I don’t see any Tellurian models except the fully autonomous ones (Level Five) being manufactured in large numbers.

    And maybe I’ll change my mind at some point.

    But these companies that want to operate fleets of AVs may very well find themselves in competition with major automakers. If the major automakers have any sense, they’ll transform their dealers into transportation service hubs. The dealers themselves may become fleet owners — transportation service providers — before or instead of the manufacturers, but the effect is the same: Large, established corporations taking riders away from the upstarts.

    If the automakers don’t make that kind of transition, in response to the switch from ownership to ridership, their business will just keep dwindling along with individual new-vehicle sales. Unless they just move to fleet sales, in which case their dealers would atrophy into oblivion, their locations bought up for use by the upstarts as service hubs.

    We can also imagine a particularly successful brand swallowing up an automotive manufacturer, perhaps first through a partnership, leading to an outright buyout. Good luck with that.

    MEANWHILE, if you can afford an AV and are inclined to own one, there should be nothing stopping you or your friends & family from riding it into a “dense urban area”. The only valid argument against that would be that it would be taking up space — just as all manually-operated vehicles do — while not in use. Even then, it could get out of the way, parking itself somewhere other than on the street in front of your destination.

    Some of the people who might want to own their own AVs (or privately lease them) will be in municipal government. So…

  8. My automotive company is itself still a concept, but the mind races, so I consider mine to be an informed opinion, and I can at least tell you what I have in mind for my own fleets.

    You already got a clue there. It makes little sense to build autonomous vehicles only to turn around and sell them to someone else to make money from. Of course I want to build fully manual vehicles as well as Level Fours and Fives, but with the possible exception of CKDs (complete knock-down kits), I think Tellurian Motors will retain ownership of all vehicles built by Tellurian Motors. Yes you can lease or rent — but it always has to come back, sooner or later.

    Maybe that sounds crazy, but bear in mind that I don’t see any Tellurian models except the fully autonomous ones (Level Five) being manufactured in large numbers.

    And maybe I’ll change my mind at some point.

    But these companies that want to operate fleets of AVs may very well find themselves in competition with major automakers. If the major automakers have any sense, they’ll transform their dealers into transportation service hubs. The dealers themselves may become fleet owners — transportation service providers — before or instead of the manufacturers, but the effect is the same: Large, established corporations taking riders away from the upstarts.

    If the automakers don’t make that kind of transition, in response to the switch from ownership to ridership, their business will just keep dwindling along with individual new-vehicle sales. Unless they just move to fleet sales, in which case their dealers would atrophy into oblivion, their locations bought up for use by the upstarts as service hubs.

    We can also imagine a particularly successful brand swallowing up an automotive manufacturer, perhaps first through a partnership, leading to an outright buyout. Good luck with that.

    MEANWHILE, if you can afford an AV and are inclined to own one, there should be nothing stopping you or your friends & family from riding it into a “dense urban area”. The only valid argument against that would be that it would be taking up space — just as all manually-operated vehicles do — while not in use. Even then, it could get out of the way, parking itself somewhere other than on the street in front of your destination.

    Some of the people who might want to own their own AVs (or privately lease them) will be in municipal government. So…

  9. Unbelievable for A Morally Shallow Company

  10. Unbelievable for A Morally Shallow Company

  11. « It makes little sense to build autonomous vehicles only to turn around and sell them to someone else to make money from. » is faulty reasoning, if one considers the history of business.

    The people who made (more and reliably) money during the search for gold in the West were the people selling the tools… The people who make the most money off the internet are the people acting as intermediaries (google, FB…), not the final content or service (and those who try to have more heavily editorial portals like Yahoo, Lycos, etc. have struggled for a long time or are dead already). Télécom’ companies have long made money, as intermediaries, and have battled net neutrality so they could make more, but notice how they refrain from becoming final content/service providers: they still want to remain only intermediaries… because that’s where the money is, with a lot less risk. Phone houses are profitable and more reliable than trying to be and remain the fashionable gadget of the moment: when Blackberry or Nokia became less fashionable, phone houses just switched to the next hip thing, while Blackberry and Nokia collapsed. Amazon is an intermediary to many businesses, Apple’s iTunes is an intermediary as are record companies (the risk is for the artist, less so for the tool provider / distributor)… Banks are among the most profitable services ever: pure intermediation.

    Car manufacturers could have stepped into car rental a long time ago, but they’ve been wise and refrained: they build cars, sell them to all car rentals, and don’t have to care whether this-or-that car rental is successful. They sold, after that it’s the car rental’s problem. Just like selling tents and spades was the deal, after that it was the gold seeker’s problem whether he found gold or not. Even in inter-personal space, it’s the networker who succeeds, not so much the doer 😉 Sell autonomous vehicles to whoever tries to make money from them: they won’t all make money, but you will have benefitted from economies of scale, as you’ll have more clients than solely the successful ones!

    Of course, there exist exceptions… but the intermediary is a well-known and understood and reliable pattern in business. Yes, there’s more profit if you vertically integrate, but it doesn’t have to be the whole chain, and it’s a lot more risk too. Apple’s iPhone might seem the perfect vertical (although a phone itself still is a tool, not the final content/service!), but so did the vertical of Nokia until it wasn’t anymore…

    The alternative route is luxury (think Ferrari, few cars, even though it’s already a lot more than cars on the road as most stay in the garage!), luxury can be reasonably reliable in spite of small series, but establishing the brand is complex (think Vertu’s phones?).

  12. « It makes little sense to build autonomous vehicles only to turn around and sell them to someone else to make money from. » is faulty reasoning, if one considers the history of business.

    The people who made (more and reliably) money during the search for gold in the West were the people selling the tools… The people who make the most money off the internet are the people acting as intermediaries (google, FB…), not the final content or service (and those who try to have more heavily editorial portals like Yahoo, Lycos, etc. have struggled for a long time or are dead already). Télécom’ companies have long made money, as intermediaries, and have battled net neutrality so they could make more, but notice how they refrain from becoming final content/service providers: they still want to remain only intermediaries… because that’s where the money is, with a lot less risk. Phone houses are profitable and more reliable than trying to be and remain the fashionable gadget of the moment: when Blackberry or Nokia became less fashionable, phone houses just switched to the next hip thing, while Blackberry and Nokia collapsed. Amazon is an intermediary to many businesses, Apple’s iTunes is an intermediary as are record companies (the risk is for the artist, less so for the tool provider / distributor)… Banks are among the most profitable services ever: pure intermediation.

    Car manufacturers could have stepped into car rental a long time ago, but they’ve been wise and refrained: they build cars, sell them to all car rentals, and don’t have to care whether this-or-that car rental is successful. They sold, after that it’s the car rental’s problem. Just like selling tents and spades was the deal, after that it was the gold seeker’s problem whether he found gold or not. Even in inter-personal space, it’s the networker who succeeds, not so much the doer 😉 Sell autonomous vehicles to whoever tries to make money from them: they won’t all make money, but you will have benefitted from economies of scale, as you’ll have more clients than solely the successful ones!

    Of course, there exist exceptions… but the intermediary is a well-known and understood and reliable pattern in business. Yes, there’s more profit if you vertically integrate, but it doesn’t have to be the whole chain, and it’s a lot more risk too. Apple’s iPhone might seem the perfect vertical (although a phone itself still is a tool, not the final content/service!), but so did the vertical of Nokia until it wasn’t anymore…

    The alternative route is luxury (think Ferrari, few cars, even though it’s already a lot more than cars on the road as most stay in the garage!), luxury can be reasonably reliable in spite of small series, but establishing the brand is complex (think Vertu’s phones?).

  13. Marrying cousins and sisters makes for a huge occurrence of psychopaths and idiocy which would not be good to fill the country with. I wouldn’t let them in either.

  14. Marrying cousins and sisters makes for a huge occurrence of psychopaths and idiocy which would not be good to fill the country with. I wouldn’t let them in either.

  15. Denis Wallez, perhaps I should slightly rephrase, adding two words: It makes little sense to me.

    In the United Shapes of America, we have the National Automotive Dealers’ Association: NADA. Nothing, they are not. Automakers moving to fleet sales would not necessarily leave out these middlemen, but they’re already feeling the hurt in advance from electric vehicles needing a lot less maintenance. It makes sense to me that with the advent of factory-direct fully autonomous vehicles (which will be electric), they would consider moving into transportation service, if only as a way to keep themselves afloat.

    The manufacturers, doing their part, would provide logistical support and create official programs. (Cadillac has already implemented a scheme whereby lessees can swap out their cars a few times during their lease periods, if for instance something larger is needed for a short time.) There are likely to be subscription services, assuring customers will always have something to ride in or drive. Whether the manufacturers or the dealers maintain ownership of those vehicles is something for them to work out between themselves. Either way, if they can provide a good service, it’ll be good for the brand(s).

    Tesla Motors keeps having to fight against NADA for the legal right to sell direct in individual shapes — I mean, states. Such is the power of NADA, as unenlightened a position as that may be. It makes dealers look bad, as does neglecting to educate their salespeople about the few electric models they offer. It’s weird, but there are still places where Tesla is not allowed to open a store — just because they cut out the middleman.

    No, fleet sales won’t cut it. Dealers will need more to do than wait around for ever-decreasing numbers of customers looking to buy or lease, and their mechanics and parts departments will need vehicles to work on and order parts for.

    And then they’ll have AVs coming in from other places, needing to be charged and cleaned if nothing else. Do they then transfer ownership from one dealer local provider to another, or do they share ownership of the larger fleet as a whole? Or would it be simpler for the manufacturers to retain ownership?

    Setting all that aside, MY decision to retain ownership is part of a business plan. Each AutoBox out of the shop goes out and attracts riders, paying for the materials and components to build more AutoBoxes. If hotels want to lease them to shuttle guests around in, that’s cool, people will get the experience. The important part is getting enough AutoBoxes out there to pay for more interesting concepts to reach low-volume production…

    Not trying to be a tycoon; I just want to build the designs I can’t seem to keep from taking shape in my mind.

    Plus, it’s my art. It’s hard to let go of your art. I want people to enjoy it, but I don’t want to just sell it to anyone who has what I would ask. And if anything goes wrong, I want to fix it myself — or have my robots fix it. And I want all of them to remain in service indefinitely, until their frames are beyond repair.

    https://plus.google.com/photos/

  16. Denis Wallez, perhaps I should slightly rephrase, adding two words: It makes little sense to me.

    In the United Shapes of America, we have the National Automotive Dealers’ Association: NADA. Nothing, they are not. Automakers moving to fleet sales would not necessarily leave out these middlemen, but they’re already feeling the hurt in advance from electric vehicles needing a lot less maintenance. It makes sense to me that with the advent of factory-direct fully autonomous vehicles (which will be electric), they would consider moving into transportation service, if only as a way to keep themselves afloat.

    The manufacturers, doing their part, would provide logistical support and create official programs. (Cadillac has already implemented a scheme whereby lessees can swap out their cars a few times during their lease periods, if for instance something larger is needed for a short time.) There are likely to be subscription services, assuring customers will always have something to ride in or drive. Whether the manufacturers or the dealers maintain ownership of those vehicles is something for them to work out between themselves. Either way, if they can provide a good service, it’ll be good for the brand(s).

    Tesla Motors keeps having to fight against NADA for the legal right to sell direct in individual shapes — I mean, states. Such is the power of NADA, as unenlightened a position as that may be. It makes dealers look bad, as does neglecting to educate their salespeople about the few electric models they offer. It’s weird, but there are still places where Tesla is not allowed to open a store — just because they cut out the middleman.

    No, fleet sales won’t cut it. Dealers will need more to do than wait around for ever-decreasing numbers of customers looking to buy or lease, and their mechanics and parts departments will need vehicles to work on and order parts for.

    And then they’ll have AVs coming in from other places, needing to be charged and cleaned if nothing else. Do they then transfer ownership from one dealer local provider to another, or do they share ownership of the larger fleet as a whole? Or would it be simpler for the manufacturers to retain ownership?

    Setting all that aside, MY decision to retain ownership is part of a business plan. Each AutoBox out of the shop goes out and attracts riders, paying for the materials and components to build more AutoBoxes. If hotels want to lease them to shuttle guests around in, that’s cool, people will get the experience. The important part is getting enough AutoBoxes out there to pay for more interesting concepts to reach low-volume production…

    Not trying to be a tycoon; I just want to build the designs I can’t seem to keep from taking shape in my mind.

    Plus, it’s my art. It’s hard to let go of your art. I want people to enjoy it, but I don’t want to just sell it to anyone who has what I would ask. And if anything goes wrong, I want to fix it myself — or have my robots fix it. And I want all of them to remain in service indefinitely, until their frames are beyond repair.

    https://plus.google.com/photos/

  17. 😉 Just reacting to the last part, on art, surely you know that the artist has to let go of the art piece… which has its own existence and life, sometimes long after the creation, sometimes long after the artist themself. 😉

  18. 😉 Just reacting to the last part, on art, surely you know that the artist has to let go of the art piece… which has its own existence and life, sometimes long after the creation, sometimes long after the artist themself. 😉

  19. That sounds like a great idea, as long as they figure out a way to equitably buy out the infrastructure investment made from taxes for city roads.

  20. That sounds like a great idea, as long as they figure out a way to equitably buy out the infrastructure investment made from taxes for city roads.

  21. AVS are coming. Its just matter of time.

  22. AVS are coming. Its just matter of time.

  23. Denis Wallez Could not have stated it better myself. 🙂

  24. Denis Wallez Could not have stated it better myself. 🙂

  25. fil smyth Afraid your logic has been disassembled by Mr Wallaz. Restating it does little to validate a faulty proposition. Hope your company is successful for you, with a more sensible plan. 🙂

  26. fil smyth Afraid your logic has been disassembled by Mr Wallaz. Restating it does little to validate a faulty proposition. Hope your company is successful for you, with a more sensible plan. 🙂

  27. Um, the auto manufacturers, the smart ones anyway, are already well down the road in shifting to riding as a service. Mercedes owns Car2Go and BMW, ReachNow. I’ve used Car2Go and it is the closest thing I’ve experienced to what I imagine the future of riding as a service will become; it’s just that you’re doing the driving. The experience of looking for a car and getting in with no other driver and then just taking off, well, that feels very close to what I imagine it will be like. Not having someone else drive you, like Uber et all, makes a huge felt difference. BMW and Mercedes know this is the future and they do not want to be disintermediated.

    And speaking of disintermediated, determining where the power lies in the intermediary game has almost everything to do with managing the interface with the end-user. That is one of the key reasons why Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google are so valuable and have so very much power. Uber would like nothing better than to be able to swap in GM, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai or whatever makes the most sense for what will undoubtedly be branded an Uber self-driving vehicle. If GM, for example, refuses to play, others will. And if the major manufacturers are too smart to fall into this commoditizing trap, new manufacturers in China will rise up to fill their place as suppliers to Uber and other self-driving car makers.

    My problem with this whole idea is less about maintaining individual car ownership. In fact, I think that idea is increasingly stupid. My problem is about allowing all the upside of this massive job of transporting people and goods, a challenge which has huge interdependencies with socially-funded infrastructure, to be concentrated into the hands of a handful of private operators, operators with a proud history, by the way, of externalizing their costs onto society.

    If ever there were a case for platform cooperativism, this is it. And by this, allow me to clarify that I am not talking about a driver cooperative but a rider cooperative.

  28. Um, the auto manufacturers, the smart ones anyway, are already well down the road in shifting to riding as a service. Mercedes owns Car2Go and BMW, ReachNow. I’ve used Car2Go and it is the closest thing I’ve experienced to what I imagine the future of riding as a service will become; it’s just that you’re doing the driving. The experience of looking for a car and getting in with no other driver and then just taking off, well, that feels very close to what I imagine it will be like. Not having someone else drive you, like Uber et all, makes a huge felt difference. BMW and Mercedes know this is the future and they do not want to be disintermediated.

    And speaking of disintermediated, determining where the power lies in the intermediary game has almost everything to do with managing the interface with the end-user. That is one of the key reasons why Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google are so valuable and have so very much power. Uber would like nothing better than to be able to swap in GM, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai or whatever makes the most sense for what will undoubtedly be branded an Uber self-driving vehicle. If GM, for example, refuses to play, others will. And if the major manufacturers are too smart to fall into this commoditizing trap, new manufacturers in China will rise up to fill their place as suppliers to Uber and other self-driving car makers.

    My problem with this whole idea is less about maintaining individual car ownership. In fact, I think that idea is increasingly stupid. My problem is about allowing all the upside of this massive job of transporting people and goods, a challenge which has huge interdependencies with socially-funded infrastructure, to be concentrated into the hands of a handful of private operators, operators with a proud history, by the way, of externalizing their costs onto society.

    If ever there were a case for platform cooperativism, this is it. And by this, allow me to clarify that I am not talking about a driver cooperative but a rider cooperative.

  29. Gideon Rosenblatt

    Excellent Additional Thoughts …

    Thank you

  30. Gideon Rosenblatt

    Excellent Additional Thoughts …

    Thank you

  31. Edmund Daub, maybe I’m not being logical.

    As you all might be able to tell, I’m still working this out. Business itself is somewhat alien to me, and what you’re seeing now is merely my current position, subject to revision. Plenty of time to learn more before the first AutoBox is built…

    Denis Wallez, there are things I have created that I will never see again, and there are some around me in use every day. You don’t have to guess which status I prefer. My vehicles will indeed be “released into the wild”, but I plan to stay connected with them as they lead their lives.

    Gideon Rosenblatt, my outlook for Tellurian Motors does not involve being more than a small player in a big game. Have little idea of what level of proliferation to expect, do not expect to enter an empty playing field. A while back (…2016?) I outlined an idea for an app that would allow riders to see what vehicles are available, immediately or to be reserved and scheduled, with at least one actual foto of each vehicle included in the information. Providers would pay for their vehicles to be included in the service, with no other advertisement beyond these listings.

    This isn’t exactly a “rider cooperative”, but would give riders a certain amount of power — at least, where there is more than one provider to choose from. Before you point it out, I am aware of the existence of similar programs already in place for ride sharing (combined with public transportation).

    The taxi-replacement services already have their own apps, and will hold onto them, but if I put myself in the shoes of a rider it’s easy to see how frustrating it would be to have to go back and forth between them and/or browse for other alternatives, looking for the best rate and/or experience.

    From the perspective of a minuscule transportation provider, what I’m looking for is a fair chance to grow a little, and…

    Those players’ stance flies directly in the face of any prospective AV owner’s hopes of being able to hire it out to others so that it can pay for itself.

    Maybe that’s all I needed to say. Thanks for going on the journey with me while I found my way to that thought. B-)

  32. Edmund Daub, maybe I’m not being logical.

    As you all might be able to tell, I’m still working this out. Business itself is somewhat alien to me, and what you’re seeing now is merely my current position, subject to revision. Plenty of time to learn more before the first AutoBox is built…

    Denis Wallez, there are things I have created that I will never see again, and there are some around me in use every day. You don’t have to guess which status I prefer. My vehicles will indeed be “released into the wild”, but I plan to stay connected with them as they lead their lives.

    Gideon Rosenblatt, my outlook for Tellurian Motors does not involve being more than a small player in a big game. Have little idea of what level of proliferation to expect, do not expect to enter an empty playing field. A while back (…2016?) I outlined an idea for an app that would allow riders to see what vehicles are available, immediately or to be reserved and scheduled, with at least one actual foto of each vehicle included in the information. Providers would pay for their vehicles to be included in the service, with no other advertisement beyond these listings.

    This isn’t exactly a “rider cooperative”, but would give riders a certain amount of power — at least, where there is more than one provider to choose from. Before you point it out, I am aware of the existence of similar programs already in place for ride sharing (combined with public transportation).

    The taxi-replacement services already have their own apps, and will hold onto them, but if I put myself in the shoes of a rider it’s easy to see how frustrating it would be to have to go back and forth between them and/or browse for other alternatives, looking for the best rate and/or experience.

    From the perspective of a minuscule transportation provider, what I’m looking for is a fair chance to grow a little, and…

    Those players’ stance flies directly in the face of any prospective AV owner’s hopes of being able to hire it out to others so that it can pay for itself.

    Maybe that’s all I needed to say. Thanks for going on the journey with me while I found my way to that thought. B-)

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