What we all really want is this right?
Open an app, summon a car, go to my spot, get out and get billed. No driver in the car so we can carry on a normal family or private conversation. I don’t have to argue about the route, worry about traffic or smell a driver’s nasty foot odor. Yes – that happened the other day on Uber X. Won the lottery of getting a fancy weekend Uber X car but paid for it with a punishing smell of rotting old man feet.
Robotic fleet of cars is the answer to a lot of what ails a city. Bring it.
Lit up my stats the other day with this tweet – even garnered a few retweets from the pros.
But damn if I didn’t speak to soon.
Usually when I am in an Uber or Grab I quiz the drivers. I like to hear their stories, how they use the system and what they are getting paid. Like the last time I was in LA the driver picked me up in an Uber X and then based on when he thought he would drop me was logging into his Lyft app to hopefully bag a ride near my drop off point. Love how this economic model influences behaviours.
I noticed about a week ago I couldn’t get an Uber X in the morning – right around 6:50 is when I order one. But funny thing is I noticed some Grab cars lurking around me. So today there were no Uber X cars but yet my first pull on the Grab app netted me a ride on GrabCar. Lo and behold, yeah I remember every driver, I noticed a car that has picked me up before and the driver with his new blonde hair. Of course I dig in to learn that Uber has rules about appearance and on top of that he said the new 60 hour – 100 ride system is paying less than Grab unless you hit the kickers. So his calculated per hour rate is now down and he isn’t logging into Uber X anymore, thus he was available for a GrabCar ride. Hence I can get a Grab now but not an Uber.
Not sure this move is working out too well for Uber since outside of the city central I see less cars now but I will add when I see them I get one. Unlike the Grab system, where they inflate the cars around you and you don’t always get one.
Also many of the Uber X drivers I know on using the cars rented via the Uber system – wonder how this messes with that system?
Where will this end? My guess is both companies are bleeding money and if so this is a funding game to some extent. Good times.