Google has been under the spotlight for one of its controversial innovations, one that has a great potential to change the whole automotive industry. Self-driving cars have been under development by Google for at least six years, in which tremendous advancements have been made and giant steps have been taken by the internet giant, all of which support the vision Google has of completely eradicating human drivers in a not so distant future. Today, an experienced investor made public one of the steps Google might take soon. Venture capitalist, Steve Jurvetson, stated how the company might be planning on employing its innovative autonomous vehicles to directly compete with the transportation network company, Uber.
Uber has become an increasingly monopolistic transportation company, with virtually no competitors around the world (other than each countries’ taxis). This is the main reason that led Steve Jurvetson into deducing what Google is planning. The internet giant’s new service will most likely be called “Free Ride” and will be a direct attempt to undercut the current power that Uber has gained. It is important to note that Jurvetson is not a listed stakeholder in Uber nor Google, so he isn’t by any means biased towards any of the two enterprises.
In an interview on Bloomberg West, Steve Jurvetson talked about a significant loss of around $470 million by Uber. Following this, Jurvetson deviated its speech towards the possibility of Google further undercutting Uber’s revenue by at least $425 million. The way Google will do this is by launching a brand new service free of any cost for users, the company’s upcoming self-driving cars will be used to transport users across their respective city. According to Jurvetson, Google is currently on the verge about whether it should release this service or not, beating Uber on its own game of dropping the price for transportation, to essentially zero. Steve Jurvetson’s latest statements match the ones that were made by Bloomberg in a report from February of this same year, which increase the credibility of the possibly upcoming “Free Ride” service. If this new service is indeed launched, Uber will be in quite a disadvantage as it would no longer be able to claim its service is the cheapest form of transportation without losing any quality.