Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

If done right, it's probably always preferable to own the fleet yourself. You can presumably get better economies of scale on purchasing, fueling, maintaining, and insuring the vehicles.

On the current market with human drivers, there are some odd incentives to the contrary though. Using driver-provided vehicles probably helps make the "they're independent contractors" legal argument. There's also the storage yard problem-- if you own a fleet, you're going to have to provide a place for the drivers to come to, park their own cars, and get into yours. I also suspect it lets them cast off the "unknown unknowns" -- damage and insurance claims, underpriced routes. And yes, there are likely opportunities to exploit new recruits by paying below their actual costs.

Once you have self-driving, many of those incentives vanish. Your biggest win comes from calling up GM and ordering cars 10,000 at a time, which a new-to-market entrant can't afford to do.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact