Thursday, August 18, 2016

Uber, Lyft, and Taxi Workers Are Unemployable

Ford just announced on August 16th they'll be mass producing self-driving vehicles by 2021 for use in ride sharing services. If you are an Uber, Lyft, or taxi driver you will basically be out of a job by then.  Sorry.  I can see it being very likely these companies will shift to a driver-less model very quickly to reduce costs and risk.

While this is good news for Ford and other companies that will be purchasing the vehicles for business use, there will be plenty of other side effects I foresee which I'll detail in a 2 part series of upcoming posts.

While I never thought driving for Uber was really worth it financially, I never had the time to do a detailed analysis. To me it's more evident than ever that if you planned on being a ride-sharing driver as your full-time gig you better start thinking about alternatives. You could continue to work as a driver the next four years while you pursue a degree in higher education(without the debt) to land a high paying job in another field since there are plenty of them! You can fund your education with the proceeds from your ride-sharing job while the money is still there.

On another note I can see this eventually creeping into the truck driving business. Truck drivers tend to make above average pay in the driving field, and are one of the biggest costs for logistics companies. I'd start to think about other options if I were in this field too.

But don't think about it to long. 2021 will be here before you know it.

*Update - It was confirmed after I published that Uber announced today this acquisition aimed at the trucking industry. That makes what I stated above even more imperative.  *

**2nd update. I should mention that Uber and other ride-sharing companies are definitely looking at ways to reduce the labor component of their cost structure. If you aren't aware Uber has been in court battles if their drivers are considered employees. Right now they classify them as independent contractors. This has major tax implications. They are absolutely looking forward to the day when they can reduce this type of liability from their business structure. Additionally if they owned their own self driving fleet they could flex their company cars to meet demand by the second. They would no longer have to rely on people deciding to drive when they felt like it. That's a huge issue for the company as they have very little control of when people decide to work and provide supply. **

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