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Old 10-17-2020, 11:42 AM   #13
godfather2112
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Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
yeah but look at Uber's business model. They don't own cars. Much of the insurance burden is on the driver. They pay people as contractors (a controversial issue we can set aside for now). They have marketing costs but marketing can be cut. I bet liability insurance is higher for Waymo than it is for Uber due to the unknowns of robo Taxis.

Now for Waymo, for now they retrofit Chrysler vans, which I'm sure don't cost much, with what, 10s of thousands of dollars worth of equipment? And then they've gotta have technicians to maintain all that, and engineers monitoring the fleet. They will eventually make their own fleet. Then how much are they charging vs an Uber-XL? They're probably subsidizing the rides, not bearing the cost (just like Uber does).

The only way that business model works is if they license the technology or if they get such a huge scale the costs go down, or if they plan to get bought out/spun off. It's the same problem Uber and Lyft have, but with what appears to me as a much more expensive cost structure in the near to mid term future.

This is part of why Ford and GM dumped their ride sharing experiments. Google/Alphabet will keep dumping money into Waymo as long as times are good, but it's not sustainable as anything but a potential acquisition.

Only company that could make money doing robo taxi would be Tesla, but there's no evidence their system will be capable of deploying (in limited areas) any time soon.
Potential acquisition? I’m pretty sure Google / Alphabet is the parent company of Waymo. Ford and GM do not have the capital resources that Waymo has for developing self driving. And no, this does not have to be an acquisition company (it won’t be due to the parent company at) but will be a licensed technology to auto manufacturers to incorporate into their vehicles.

If Uber / Lyft has autonomous vehicles and not contracted drivers, the ROI for a full fleet of EV would be recognized within several years. Here is the other huge aspect your completely missing from the business model. Advertisement. Alphabet / google is a marketing machine. Put someone in a driverless car with some sort of screen display with targeted advertisement (doesn’t need to be audible) and the revenue along with profit will be insane.
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