This won’t come as a secret to many people but uber wants to be much, much more than a replacement for a taxi service. Amazon aspires to be more than a place you order replacement toothbrush heads. And Google wants to be more than a place you search for how to cure your cold.
All these companies are reinventing the way we think of place. Each company have major projects that will begin to transform our society and how we get to and from or IF we get to and from places. The next step forward in transportation is to make it effortless.
Uber believes that if you can summon a ride with ease you won’t need a car anymore. I was reading an article just this week that calculated the break even for most Americans at 10,000 miles a year. If you drive less than that per year it probably makes sense to not own a car any longer. There is evidence uber is reducing drunk driving. They are making it so simple to get from point A to point B that they are growing the size of the “taxi” market by eliminating the need for people to take their own cars. Taxis were once just used when people didn't have a car.
Amazon is working on drone delivery. The idea that you can have “anything” you need dropped out of the sky within a few minutes opens a whole new world. You don't need to remember to pick things up on the way home, since it will be easier for the drone to drop it off to you. You won't need to make a shopping list since the products will just come to you on demand, just in time. You don't need to get in your car or call an uber, you just need touch your phone or speak to it and magically products come to you.
Google who always has massively huge ambitions are doing both of the above. They have their much hyped self driving car project, and now a drone program . How much more can you get done or how much more leisure time would you have if transportation of yourself or the things you need weren’t a consideration. If all of your commute time was idle time what could you do with it? If when you needed milk what if the milk came to you? If you don’t own a car anymore do you need a garage? Do we need parking lots? How much retail space do you need and does it matter if that retail space is on the magnificent mile? What happens to auto insurance companies? What about logistics companies and their employees?
Since the dawn of society how we get from place to place has required significant planning, effort and expense. It was hard when we had to walk, it got a little easier when we had got animals to help, even easier when we had automobiles and highways. And, it’s about to change in a monumental way again, how the world will look no one really knows.
Credit to Techdirt who made me decide to write this and does a better job than I do.
I'm building a startup called ServiceVines. I live far out from civilization and like it. I get really too excited over tech, economics, and food.