Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Uber's CEO told a mobility conference last week that his company wants to expand its franchise to include more ride-sharing and public transportation options.

Autonomous Vehicles

Uber CEO Talks Multi-Modal Transportation Model

Uber’s CEO told a mobility conference last week that his company wants to expand its franchise to include more ride-sharing and public transportation options.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, told a mobility conference in the nation’s capitol last week that his company is looking forward to becoming a multi-modal transportation company in the future. Recently, Uber made a significant investment in JUMP, the electric bike sharing network now operating in San Francisco.

Uber CEOUber told the audience, which included Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser and professor Stephen Goldsmith from the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, that making transportation safe, equitable, and affordable is the goal. To further that agenda, Uber wants to forge closer ties with cities like Washington, D.C. In addition to ride-hailing, which is the core of its current business, and bike-sharing, Uber intends to add car rentals and public transportation to the portfolio of services it offers.

In order to reduce urban congestion, Uber wants to expand car-sharing but has found the public resistant to the idea. “There are these societal norms that we have to battle,” Khosrowshahi said. “You share a car with someone, and it kind of feels a little weird.” He noted that people don’t know if it’s socially acceptable to work while sharing a car. They also don’t know whether it’s permissible to strike up a conversation with others or to stay silent. Such considerations are similar to the social pressures people feel in elevators.

Uber says it’s investing “hundreds of millions of dollars per year” in order to convince people to use its Express carpooling service. In addition to overcoming social norms, it has found people want to know exactly when their vehicle will arrive and when they will get to their destination. TechCrunch reports that Khosrowshahi told the group,”We are having to discount very aggressively, much more than you’d think,” to get people to share rides. “The combination of the societal norms and then the question of when exactly am I going to get there are the real friction points we’ve had to fight.”

Uber hopes that using data in new ways will help make public transportation more appealing. Knowing when a bus will show up is a big deal if its raining or snowing out, if it’s too hot or too cold. If they have that information available,“we think that’s going to drive use and ultimately that’s going to make it even better to live in a city like this one.”

Despite its recent troubles with its self driving cars, Khosrowshahi says autonomous cars are still very much a part of the company’s future. “Autonomous is part of the solution and I think long term it’s going to be an important part of the solution of getting rid of car ownership,” Khosrowshahi said. “Autonomous at maturity will be safer,” he says.

Clearly, Uber wants to be seen as an honest broker when it comes to helping people get around easily and inexpensively, taking a small piece of the action for its troubles. According to what its crystal ball is telling it, Uber expects people will soon stop buying cars altogether and transition to paying others to drive them around. It may be right, but there are lots of other companies who will want a piece of that action.

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Tata Motors has been revolutionizing the Indian automotive market with its pioneering efforts and is leading the e-mobility wave in India with a commanding...


The City of New York will require all Uber and Lyft vehicles to be electric by 2030. The companies could get there even sooner.


Uber says it is exploring a partnership with an establish automaker to manufacture specialized ride hailing vehicles.

Autonomous Vehicles

Years after Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick said Uber would buy all the robotaxis Tesla could make (it turns out the figure was...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.