Uber remains in big trouble in London following the British government prohibited the ride-hailing company from renewing its contract. While the controversial company is still struggling to win back the government's trust, Uber is now confronted with a new dilemma that may just be scenting on the ground: massive job cuts.
More than 80,000 signatories on Change.org and Uber's readiness to make concessions seem to have not worked for the ride-sharing service as the city government of London is bent to scrap Uber taxis off its streets. This and Uber's venture on autonomous cars are confronting the company with the most dreadful question so far: Will it be able to retain its 40,000 drivers?
Definitely not. It's not a secret that Uber is working to bring self-driving vehicles on the streets a couple of years from now. One of the repercussions of this technological advancement in the automotive industry is to lose drivers.
A Business Insider report on Sunday states that Uber will soon be dropping "those 40,000 drivers in favour of an army of robots". Just a few years from now, humans will become the most expensive part of the transport system, according to a research note by David Lesne, an analyst at UBS.
"Robotaxis will likely price-compete with mass-transit systems," states UBS. "The shift towards electric autonomous vehicles, combined with more advanced fleet optimization and servicing platforms, next-generation traffic management and more intense competition, should reduce the fee charged to passengers of robotaxis by as much as 80% versus a ride-on-demand trip today."
In the meantime, the Uber's ban is expected to take effect this weekend. While the massive job cut is expected to arrive years from now, passengers and drivers have yet to know whether or not London will be kind enough to its 3.5 million Uber riders.