the driverless taxi is just the beginning

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Today Google announces to invest $258M in ÜBER, an app that is a one tap-connection between you and your taxi driver. I have used Uber in San Francisco and it really is a good thing. You are already registered as a user so Uber has your credit cards details. The only thing you need to do is enter the address of your destination and a taxi will show up in no time. That’s the story short.

BHAG!

I have been inspired by Über and Google driverless cars and even created a whole business plan that would make me rich. I’m not kidding, this was my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). I even already had a draft of a powerpoint to start my business around it. I still might do it but this news made me too needy to talk to you about it.


Inspiration

I travelled a few times to both Russia and the United States last year and couldn’t help having so much troubles with the difference in how to get everywhere. It was not really the Russian taxi drivers’ fault, it was mine! I couldn’t express myself as I don’t speak Russian. I couldn’t order a taxi without the need of an English speaking hotel employee or colleague. On the other hand in the States I could order a taxi with an app and could even follow him through GPS.

Now for some facts

Now down to business!

This is where it gets really interesting. If you look a the cost of a taxi, the biggest cost probably is the drivers’ labour. I just made a slide that is totally NOT backed by research so I could be off left or right by at least 50% but you’ll get the idea of where I am going. Research probably will prove me right.

So even if the acquisition of a driverless car would be double, in the end the price of a driverless taxi would be cheaper already from day 1! 

Business cases

The Big Hairy Audacious Goal

My take

Everything you see in this business plan is just the beginning! The combination of Driverless cars & Über would even make it possible never to have to buy a car again yourself. If it is cheaper to rent a car just for the time you need it, why buying one. Now think about it in terms of virtualization: even if you would drive at least 2,5 hrs a day in your car, it would still be idle for 90% of the time. So what did we learn from virtualization? 

Now if Richard Branson by accident read this blogpost and has a few mln to spare I’d still be happy to make this work! I am truly passionate about this.

Autonomous vehicles are for transportation what the tractor was for agriculture!

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