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I wonder how much they could enlist others to solve this by creating something like an 'Uber Auction House' to basically buy and sell the right to reap Uber's cut for a ride. They could clean up on exchange fees while everyone solves this problem for them.

I work in Forecasting for Amazon and I've often wondered the same thing. Almost any business with some (moderate) degree of uncertainty about the future could be "securitized". I think doing so in a way that preserves privacy, security, and is defensible against disintermediation could be valuable.

All that said, the company that outsources (and that's really what you're proposing) such a core component of their business is probably taking on way too much risk.

This is interesting, could it potentially reduce surge pricing?

One thing I thought, it would be really convinient if Uber could amortize their surge pricing over the month/year. In order not to hit customers with unexpected rates and essentially offer a flat predictable fee over the whole period. Problem with that is you can't really plan the future demand to calculate how much you need to save/dip. Could an auction house help to hedge the bets?

It's unlikely to affect surge pricing. You can think of surge as a tool to move drivers to where the riders are. Even if you knew there would be heavy demand, you need to incentivize drivers to actually go there. Why would I, as a driver, go 20 minutes out of my way to be in Katy Perry concert traffic when I can keep picking up passengers at a reasonable clip on the other side of town?

Surge is only really solved once autonomous vehicles can be preemptively positioned near demand.

The author might be suggesting that you could have surge priced compensation for the drivers to incentivize them to move to the demand but also amortize that cost for the consumer.

That's an interesting problem because (if I'm understanding you correctly) forecasting would need to be done at an individual level. A consumer getting rides primarily during off-hours should (imo rightly) pay less than a rider booking rides primarily from busy locations. Amortizing that cost fairly while also making a safe profit is a tricky balance to strike, I'd think.

Is it something like a Darkpool and Uber leveraging the Buy and Sell there?

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