Google Could Use Its Self-Driving Cars to Rival Uber

Google Autonomous Car 1 photo
Photo: Google
Google will move its self-driving cars to the Alphabet company in 2016 and has bigger plans with this division in the future, a person familiar with the business’ strategy reports.
Since its first introduction, Google’s autonomous vehicle fleet has accumulated over one million miles in the self-driving mode. According to Bloomberg, the Silicon Valley giant wants to introduce its first publicly available autonomous cars in San Francisco and Austin, the cities where they have logged in the most miles. As the unnamed source specifies, the cities mentioned aren’t officially the first to get Google’s autonomous cars, but are the most likely to receive the technology for first adopters.

Currently, Google’s self-driving plans are confidential as to which cities will first receive the American company’s autonomous vehicles. We also don’t know if the company will use existing production automobiles for the job or if they will go full-on autonomous and use their self-driving car (pictured). If the latter scenario happens, Google will be an attractive and wealthy rival to traditional car makers and even for the open-to-new Tesla.

There’s also a notable possibility that Google would employ a fleet of vehicles of various sizes, that will suit different purposes. If this happens, the tech giant could start its own Uber-rival and fight the start-up with its own weapons.

As some of you know, if you open up Google Maps on your smartphone and request directions for pedestrian use and the distance is significant, the app will show you how much would an Uber ride cost and the time it would take for you to reach your destination. We have a gut feeling that this would stop happening in cities where Google’s self-driving cars will roll-out.

In case Google’s Alphabet company decides to take on Uber, the future self-driving taxi business could dethrone the powerful German-named app. We believe this could occur because of Uber’s business model and the current wave of potential class-action lawsuits waiting to happen. As some of you might know, Uber drivers aren’t actual employees and don’t have the same rights as contractors or regular contracted workers. Because of this, their retirement plans and other benefits aren’t up to speed with those of traditional employees.

While Google is gearing up its self-driving business plans, Uber itself is searching for ways to cut human drivers out of the equation. After all, they are the only factor that damages the company’s reputation and affects the quality and the price of service.

Judging by the way things are going, it looks like traditional taxi drivers and Uber/Lyft drivers will get a run for their money in years to come, all thanks to the self-driving car industry.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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