Travis Kalanick gave a rare interview in San Francisco Wednesday at the mega Dreamforce conference. Since Uber began getting regularly hammered in the press for its aggressive political tactics and potential legal violations, the once outspoken CEO hasn’t given the public much direction about the future of the multibillionaire transportation company.
Today, he gave two quotes that give us an indication about how Uber may change public life:
“If every car in San Francisco was Ubered, there’d be no traffic.”
In the short term, Kalanick says he basically wants to replace every car on the road. Where Uber and Lyft have saturated the market with on-demand drivers, this is actually a realistic goal in the medium term. A number of commentators have done the calculation, and it’s cheaper to replace one’s car in San Francisco with ride-sharing. As a Bay Area resident, the availability of cheap transportation is why I sold my car.
It’s really nice never to worry about parking tickets, drunk driving, gas or maintenance. Not owning a car saves me a ton of time every month. This will be more difficult to achieve in midwestern states and suburban environments, but perhaps Uber can figure out a solution for less urbanized citizens.
Put another way, Uber is looking to fully privatize the transportation industry.
‘We want transportation to be as reliable as running water for everyone, in every city in the world.’
Broadly speaking, Uber wants to overhaul the transportation industry. Instead of a complicated and unreliable system of transit unions, car ownership, and delivery services, Uber would try to make getting something from point A to point B much more seamless.
People spend (a lot) of time buying different services and figuring out how to navigate delivery and transportation. Uber imagines a world where all the complicated logistics are taken care of. All a user has to do is press a button. Seems like it would be a less frustrating world, if he can build it.
Kalanick’s full interview should be available later on the Dreamforce website.
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