How can cab firms fight back against Uber?

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Uber has had some recent problems with its share price, but the company is here to stay, many more are joining the party. Many cab firms are now looking over their shoulder and wondering how long it will be before they go out of business.

Lets look at areas where Uber has challenges:

1. Reputation

From prospectus “If platform users engage in, or are subject to, criminal, violent, inappropriate, or dangerous activity that results in major safety incidents, our ability to attract and retain Drivers, consumers, restaurants, shippers, and carriers may be harmed, which could have an adverse impact on our reputation, business, financial condition, and operating results.” 

A bricklayer died when an Uber driver did not take “reasonable care” and drove off with the man halfway out of the car, a coroner has ruled. 

Samuel Thomas, 30, was living in Australia when he died on 17 June 2017. 

He was travelling home with friends from a party in Sydney when the Uber driver stopped at traffic lights and Mr Thomas started to leave the car. Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan said Mr Thomas, from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, fell into the path of a bus. He said the Uber driver Nazrul Islam had “not exercised reasonable care”. 

Judge Ruled: “The only explanation is that Mr Islam was much more fatigued than he admitted.” 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-48205108

2. Frustrated Drivers

Recent strikes by drivers against uber are due to poor pay and hard working conditions, this is growing frustration amongst drivers. 

“Drivers are the main source of profit for these companies. They are not losing money, we are losing money. We are losing time – working into late nights, sleeping in places like this, because you have to, you have to do it to make money,” he added. 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/07/the-uber-drivers-forced-to-sleep-in-parking-lots-to-make-a-decent-living

3. Business Model

First, some figures. Uber loses buckets of money. It lost $3.0 billion in 2018 on $11.2 billion in revenue from its basic operations. It sold its interest in a couple of other ride-hailing firms, which enabled it to book a profit, but despite a tripling in revenue since 2016, its losses were essentially the same in both years.

(https://jacobinmag.com/2019/05/uber-ipo-profitability-value-labor-costs ) 

As Lacy put it in an interview soon after Kalanick’s ouster, “The thing that’s gonna kill Uber has nothing to do with who’s at the company, has nothing to do with scandals, has nothing to do with any of this. The thing that’s gonna kill Uber is when Uber finally has to charge what it costs to get a car to you. ” 

https://www.susanjfowler.com/blog/2017/2/19/reflecting-on-one-very-strange-year-at-uber

4. Unethical

Today, in his horrifying scoop, Smith writes about the the lengths that at least one Uber executive, Emil Michael, was willing to go to discredit anyone– particularly a woman– who may try to question how Uber operates. 

https://pando.com/2014/11/17/the-moment-i-learned-just-how-far-uber-will-go-to-silence-journalists-and-attack-women/

5. Autonomous Cars

Prospectus: Autonomous vehicle technologies involve significant risks and liabilities. We have conducted real-world testing of our autonomous vehicles, involving a trained driver in the driver’s seat monitoring operations while the vehicle is in autonomous mode. In March 2018, one of these test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Following that incident, we voluntarily suspended real-world testing of our autonomous vehicles for several months in all markets where we were conducting real-world testing, which was a setback for our autonomous vehicle technology efforts. Failures of our autonomous vehicle technologies or additional crashes involving autonomous vehicles using our technology would generate substantial liability for us, create additional negative publicity about us, or result in regulatory scrutiny, all of which would have an adverse effect on our reputation, brand, business, prospects, and operating results.

6. Coverage

Uber is extremely strong in big cities and towns, not so much in rural areas and small towns. There are more private hire cabs in the world than there are uber drivers.

Cabs.com approach to beating Uber and other digital hailing companies:

Challenge Cabs.com solution
Combine the customer friendly
digital hailing technology with
traditional cab firms.
Our app and dispatch system
allows full digital hailing app
technology for all cab firms on one customer app.
Provide better work for drivers by charging less (uber charge 25%) We only charge cab firms £30 per month and 10p per fare
Avoid spending extremely large
amounts of investors money, which results in high operating costs
Cabs.com does not spend any
money on advertising.
Stay ethical and transparent Cabs.com has stayed free for the
last 3 years and generated over
8000 reviews of cab firms
Come up with a strategy for self
driving cars that doesn’t involve
ploughing billions into R&D
Cabs.com will adopt a wait and see approach. It is likely that any self
driving solution will enable people to ‘rent out’ their cars when not in use.
Provide complete coverage by all
cab firms teaming up
Cabs.com already has 8000 cab
firms in the UK and 3000 in the US listed on its website.

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