Many people use Uber because they don't want to drive when they go out, but if their car can drive itself, why bother with Uber?
what stops anybody from spinning up a p2p solution for car sharing that cuts out Uber?
The problem is that there's no significant economies of scale to the taxi industry. You don't make drivers much more efficient by having more of them, and there's an induced demand problem where the limitations of cities and traffic mean that you just cannot scale up to infinity.
This is by the way why there's no enormous single individual taxi company in the existing market. Taxi business tends to be small and competitive for this very reason. It's an extremely ill suited environment for a technology startup.
If self-driving tech really becomes so good that it will make tons of money, then why let Uber etc have that market? There is zero that differentiates them. Everyone can put a booking app together and optimise it over a few years (see the many international copy cats who have done just that).
Then why wouldn't a self-driving-manufacturing leader (whoever that will be, Tesla, GM, BNW, a Geely or other Chinese player, doesn't matter) run fleets themselves? It's not like there's much human cost involved. (and manufacturers already got their service networks and charging networks together where self driving vehicles could go at night to be charged/serviced)
We'll see how it plays out, but I don't think that's true. Maybe it's what Uber wants, but I think car companies and consumers will disagree.
In the long term, self-driving decrease the need for even owning a car. Why make that huge investment when a car can always be available to you within minutes with a few clicks in an app? It then would make more sense for those large investments to be made centrally by the Ubers, Lyfts, Waymos, Teslas, Apples, etc of the world. In the distant future I would bet driving eventually ends up like flying is today with only the ultra-affluent and hobbyist owning their own vehicles and everyone else just paying per use.
Uber could still lobby against competition, but that's a whole different level and we'd be pretty much back at a classical taxi situation.
- You don't have a self driving car.
- You don't have a car, period.
- You're stranded somewhere or don't have your car with you.
- You don't want to deal with parking.
Also, with a self-driving car the driver doesn't have to deal with parking because the car can take care of it.
You pay per use with AWS instead of buying physical servers right?
So it probably depends on the individual's financial situation and where a car ride falls in terms of buying bulk vs incrementally.
A lot of the expense about physical servers is also the maintenance and having employees' time to manage them. A car requires some maintenance but arguably less so than that, so perhaps not the closest comparison.
Because it's cheaper over the long run.
"Why own a car when you can just Uber" makes sense for people who live in areas where they don't have to (and don't want to) drive very much, but I think the assumption that most people fall into that group is pretty shaky. I think it's probable this will change over time, but that time span is almost certainly going to be decades, not a few years.