Uber/Lyft are not too big to fail because there are too many smart people vested in their success to allow that - they’ll eventually become profitable as technology advances and replaces human drivers, which are the biggest factor keeping these companies from becoming profitable.
2. A key way Uber/Lyft can be profitable is by encouraging automakers to make more fuel efficient and low maintenance vehicles which will reduce driver costs while partnering with auto industry and lawmakers to push for more rapid and safe advancements in autonomous vehicles.
3. If automakers can develop vehicles that cost, say, 50% less to maintain, that will translate into more money for Uber/Lyft drivers (also more revenue for Uber/Lyft), encourage more people to drive for such services - at least until human drivers are not necessary.
4. Uber/Lyft built their model around an existing flawed infrastructure, leveraging vehicles that were built for another era. If ridesharing becomes the dominant mode of transportation, automakers will adapt to building more vehicles more “natively suited” for ridesharing.
5. Many Uber/Lyft drivers put 10,000+ miles/month on their vehicles - many therefore procure fuel-efficient, low maintenance vehicles that were primarily built for personal use, not for ridesharing. More robust, low-maintenance vehicles purpose-built for ridesharing will come.
6. The question with autonomous vehicles is what will become of human drivers who depend on driving for on-demand/ridesharing service providers like Uber/Lyft for their livelihoods? Lawmakers could be pressured into mandating requiring a human driver on board such vehicles.
7. We are a few years away from fully autonomous vehicles (biggest barrier is infrastructure designed for humans, not robots) but lawmakers have another worry about a driverless future: many states will lose revenue they presently collect from issuing humans licenses, citations.
8. For now, Uber/Lyft should encourage fewer people to drive for them, which will become a forcing function to advance progress on the autonomous end (I suspect strikes and other attempts to disrupt service will be another forcing function).
9. Asking humans to drive 10,000 miles/month (for Uber/Lyft/trucking industry) isn’t good for the health, well-being of such humans. As we look for ways to cut down healthcare costs in the country, autonomous technology could become both a job killer and healthcare cost saver.
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