The introduction of the auto-pilot cars by Uber
Uber recently introduced its fleet of auto-pilot cars to the world. When I first came across the news the first thing I thought of was the poor Uber drivers who literally depend on its weekly paycheck. It's a simple case of 'Video killed the radio star'. It's now literally between man vs machine.
With the introduction of driverless programed cars, the end for millions of Uber drivers seems to be drawing closer. "#ABC" gave hints of Uber having to struggle in the "crowded field" (just as Uber lost its grounding in China recently). "Uber is competing in a crowded field - the major automakers all have driverless cars development programs, as do tech giants Google and #Apple, and many automakers already have cars on the road with advanced driver assist technology, most notably Tesla."
iRobot movie vs Uber
Watch iRobot, the movie starring Will Smith, and you'll see how possible it is for the robots developing 'human feelings and emotions' that could turn these machines against the whole human kind. The cars would be dropping people off to places unknown and drive off a cliff or something to 'avenge themselves' in a bid to take on the world.
The jobs carried out by normal-functioning humans have been cut on an industrial scale. Even the cars that are now going to be driven by itself were once made by humans. IRobots' theory of robots rising against their makers is becoming a reality.
The death of a taxi-driver - a conversation with an angry Uber driver
Uber driver work is becoming scarce for taxi drivers like Mr X. He has been working for the ride-share company for over a year now. Scenarios such as his on weekends is something that is becoming a norm across the US. Gone are the days when Mr X used to make over $1600 per week. I remember telling him about September being the month where Uber business, like everything else, picks up. I have never been a taxi-driver but the idea of 'doing Uber' one day is quite tempting. Uber built its empire on rumors. It seemed that the whole world turned to doing taxi work. - a job made famous by Robert De Niro.
The following is result of a conversation that took place between us;
Mr. X: "You wrote an article about Uber company, right?", asked Mr X.
BN: "Yes", I replied.
Mr.X: "What was it about again? I mean what did you say about Uber?"
BN: "Well, it was about how Uber lost its ground in China. The two Chinese taxi-sharing rival companies had joined forces and beat Uber from the top spot in China."
Mr.X: "It was great in the beginning."
Mr.X: "Well I used to make so much money in a week. But now I can't even cover the gas sometimes."
BN: "Oh I see. Yeah, it had just started so there was less competition."
Mr. X: "No, it's not about competition. It's about Uber cutting 1/3rd of the price."
BN: "What do you mean?"
Mr. X: "I mean so many people like me left their proper jobs and started doing Uber."
BN: "Oh yeah, I know. Now it's worse since driverless-cars are here too."
Mr. X: "That will fail. I know because a lot of people are saying that they don't want to sit in a car without a driver."
BN: "Yeah, Uber is about business. It doesn't care."
Mr.X: "Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Uber don't give a shit what happens to people."
BN: "Yeah", I agreed.
Mr. X: Since people started depending on it Uber totally changed its tactics."
BN: "Yeah,I know. Good thing you reminded me. I was going to write about Uber introducing its auto-pilot cars."
I took my #iPhone 6 out and started jotting few notes of my own down that Mr. X had made during our conversation over evening tea.
BN: "Yes, I'm going to write about it and mention you and whatever you've said. You're the people."
With that, our conversation turned towards traveling across the US by car - a road trip. Route 66 came into my mind and we started watching a documentary on "YouTube" about it.
After having finished his tea Mr. X left for an almost non-existent job as a Uber-driver.