Uber Technologies Inc. is a multinational American company that has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. The company currently operates in more than 633 cities globally and is responsible for the development, marketing, and operation of Uber car fleets. It also engages in food delivery mobile applications. Uber requires drivers to have their personal cars or rent cars to sign up with the firm.
Since its inception, Uber Technologies Inc. relies heavily on its mobile app in engaging drivers and their customers. The Uber app software requires each driver who is signed with them to have a smartphone while potential customers must have access to the Uber app or the company’s mobile website. In terms of pricing, the company sets the prices for their drivers based on the time and distance to be covered.
In 2015, one of Uber’s co-founders Travis Kalanick expressed his desire to see the company move towards using self-driving cars. The company then made a decision to pursue the idea and by May of the same year, the company hired researchers from the robotics department of Carnegie Mellon University who they could engage in pursuing the idea of self-driving cars.
Reasons why Uber seems to be drowning
- Leadership crisis
- Inability to dominate the local and foreign markets: For the company to become a profitable multinational company, it had to increase its market share across the major economies of the world. However, achieving global dominance will require the company to invest more dollars in new markets. One of the company’s major setback, as it seeks to attain global dominance, is competition from domestic and global competitors. Companies such as Didi and Lyft prevent the company from dominating the global car transportation industry.
- Ability to continue being innovative in its operations: Uber’s operations hugely rely on the performance of the company’s software after being integrated with driver’s cars. As technology advances, there is a likelihood that the company will have to renovate its app or face threats from competitors. The company needs to invest more in the technical aspects of their business and attract more talented engineers to continue being on top on the industry.
- Compliance to set regulations: As the company seeks to increase its global presence, it is finding it hard to comply with the United States law and the laws of the other countries in which they want to operate. For instance, a case filed at the European Union’s highest court could make it hard for the company to operate in the European market if the court rules that the company is a digital service and not a transport company.
Uber’s Company self-driving cars program
Uber Technologies Inc. has been investing in ensuring it moves away from human drivers to self-driving cars although the program has received many setbacks. The company’s leadership believes that the company would become more profitable if there is increased investment in technology as the way of reducing operational costs.
Some of the challenges facing the company’s self-driving cars program include:
- Frequent lawsuits: The company has experienced numerous lawsuits that has hindered its take-off and overturned its chances of becoming a profitable multinational company. For instance, in February 2017, Waymo, a self-driving car unit that is associated to Google’s parent company, sued the company. The company said that Otto, which had been bought by Uber, had stolen their proprietor technology.
- Patent disputes: The company has faced many lawsuits from other companies especially from Alphabet. Alphabet has a lawsuit that claims that its former employee, Levandowski, stole its key intellectual property after leaving the company.
Most insurance companies are reluctant to provide cheap auto insurance for cars that are self-driving and this poses a major risk for Uber’s pursuit of driverless cars. As Uber Technologies Inc. continues to pursue its program to manufacture driverless cars, it has become clear that the program’s success relies on the human resources that the company is willing to invest in it.