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Transcript of Uber
In today's world, if Uber disappeared, another ride sharing company would take its place. But if Uber never existed, cities would be more congested, drivers would have to get other jobs, and there would be more DUIs. Although Uber isn't the only ride sharing company, it was the pioneer for a $50+ billion industry that has revolutionized transportation.
Charlie Kerr, Gavin Avery, Patrick Skov
The 11th Thing
"A Revolution in Transportation"
How Uber is ushering in a new area of transportation through ride sharing and technology.
The History of
WWII - 1941
During WWII, the US government launched an ad campaign telling people to carpool and join "Car-Sharing" clubs in an effort to save resources for the war effort.
Jitney Craze - 1914
When the US economy fell into a recession due to WWI, some car owners looking for extra cash would pickup streetcar passengers in return for a Jitney (the 5 cent streetcar fee).
Energy Crisis - 1970s
Due to the Arab oil embargo, a gas shortage occurred in the US. States were allowed to spend their highway money on creating ride sharing programs in order to conserve gas and to improve air quality.
The time spent by the average commuter is on the rise and costing the US millions of dollars
It is inefficient to have to track down a taxi, and you don't know anything about the driver.
The Uber Solution
Uber has revolutionized the ride sharing dynamic by allowing drivers to pick how long they want to drive. This allows drivers to just work part-time, opening up a new source of income to their families. Along with this Uber is able to create 20,000 jobs every month.
"Uber was one of the first to use the mobile GPS on smartphones to allow consumers to hail a car on demand to their exact location. Uber created a successful technology platform that was elegant and simple to use."
- John Hagel III, Leading Management Consultant and Entrepreneur
Just drop a pin at your location, click a button, and your Uber driver will pick you up within minutes. This simplistic design makes Uber popular among all age groups, from the elderly, to college students coming back from a bar.
Unlike other ride sharing companies, Uber started out as a black car service driven by men in suits. This sense of luxury has helped Uber embed itself into the business-centered cities of New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Uber is widely seen as one of the safest ways to get around. When you are matched with a driver, you get a picture of them along with other users' ratings of the driver. Along with this, Uber performs extensive background checks on their drivers.
Also, Uber has pledged to focus on employing returning service members to help ease the transition back into civilian life.
Uber has even partnered up with the NFL Players Association to offer free rides to all NFL players. Since this deal, DUIs in the league have dropped by 80%.
Since Uber's implementation in major cities around the US, the number of DUIs have fallen by 11.1% overall and 18.5% for people under 30.
Innovation and Infrastructure
Uber enlists the existing infrastructures of drivers and cars. Uber's process is known as "tapping the crowd", which means they are working with unaffiliated individuals as if they were an extension of the company's staff.
& Big Data
"Uber uses mobile technologies to drive reservation, payment, and fulfillment. The company would not exist without mobile technology."
- Bill Briggs, CTO of Deloitte Consulting
Uber targets the existing infrastructure of travelers as its clientele, whether that be a businessman commuting in New York or a group of college students at Stanford.
Uber innovates on the existing infrastructures of drivers, mobile apps, and travelers in order to create a functioning transportation system.
Uber is not an invention, but rather an innovation of preexisting infrastructures.
Innovation that causes sweeping change requires infrastructure to either be put in place or to be preexisting in order to alter every facet of our lives. Such an omnipresent technology requires considerably infrastructure to integrate fully and seamlessly into our lives.
Innovation vs Invention
Invention is simply the inception of a technology, the act of creating something new. Innovation on the other hand is what is done with this technology. Ride sharing existed prior to the 2010s, but only reached its true potential with the innovation of Uber.
The technological developments of the past couple of decades offer the prospect of a very different paradigm—mobility centered around the user.
- Tiffany Fishman, Public Sector Research Manager, Deloitte Research, Deloitte Services LP
New transport models made possible by mobile phones, apps, and smart card technology, like car sharing, are taking a good that sits idle most of the time and turning it into something else.
- Adam Greenfield, Managing Director at Urbanscale
In a sense, formerly clear lines—between humans and machines, between ownership and nonownership, between goods and services—blur when information generated and used interchangeably by people and machines becomes ubiquitous.
- Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company
Transportation is not simply one mode that moves a person or a good from A to B. It is much more interesting and useful than that. It is a system, or rather a ‘system of systems’ connecting modes, services, technologies and designs according to the best option for the purpose.
- Susan Zielinski, managing director, SMART, University of Michigan
A Shift in Paradigm:
Uber leads the switch to user centered transportation
If we dissect the Uber app, we can see how the elements of its design encourage the user.
The ability to set your pickup location with the drop of a pin on a map, rather than entering an address, saves the user time and is esthetically fun.
The presence of a slide bar makes it easy to select what type of car you want.
The tip is included in the fare, preventing the need for hand-to-hand money exchange. This allows you to get out and go once you arrive at your destination.
Once a driver accepts you, you receive a picture of them, what type of car they are driving, and the ability to call them. This information is presented to make the user feel more comfortable.
After you arrive, you are presented with a virtual receipt, a trip summary, and the ability to rate your driver. This allows the user to give feedback, which in turn makes them feel invested in the product and thus more likely to use it.
The Expert's Opinions on The Changing transportation landscape.
How do the drivers feel about Uber?
How does Uber affect your city?
but more cities are being added every week.
Advancements in technology have created complex transportation systems that, again through technology, allow users to feel in control. However, the transportation dynamic is changing to give the users a false sense of ownership. As they rent the same car everyday, at what point does it become theirs vs the company's that is renting it?
Our Interviews with Uber Drivers
(Listen to audio interview responses)
What role does ride-sharing play in the transportation system, and in particular Uber?
What leads to such success for Uber over its competition?
How has the push back to the urban city centers influenced Uber or vice versa?
"An Uber Impact: 20,000 Jobs Created on the Uber Platform Every Month." Uber Blog. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://blog.uber.com/uberimpact.
Douglas, Ben. "The Changing Landscape of Urban Transportation." Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://coss.fsu.edu/dmc/node/237.
Fisher, Tiffany. "Digital-age Transportation." Deloitte University Press. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://dupress.com/articles/digital-age-transportation/.
"From Exponential Technologies to Exponential Innovation." Deloitte University Press. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://dupress.com/articles/from-exponential-technologies-to-exponential-innovation/.
Maynard, Micheline. Curbing Cars: America's Independence From The Auto Industry. New York: Forbes Media, 2014.
Stone, Brad. "Invasion of the Taxi Snatchers: Uber Leads an Industry's Disruption." Bloomberg Business Week. February 20, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-20/uber-leads-taxi-industry-disruption-amid-fight-for-riders-drivers.
"The City of the Future: One Million Fewer Cars on the Road." Uber Blog. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://blog.uber.com/city-future.
"The Mobile Chasm." Deloitte University Press. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://dupress.com/articles/the-mobile-chasm/.
"UberMILITARY: We Want You." Uber Blog. Accessed December 9, 2014. http://blog.uber.com/ubermilitary.