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Your future taxi will be run by Automakers and Tech companies !

The traditional taxi industry is slowly being replaced by automakers and tech giants looking for a quick way to monetize self-driving technology. Uber, who have often come in for criticism from the traditional Taxi industry recently mend their relationship with the largest local cab company in Singapore. Uber sold a majority stake (51%) of its Singaporean car-leasing subsidiary to ComfortDelGro, the leading local cab firm for a $474 million of joint venture. The cost of maintaining the fleet - 14,000 cars - will be offloaded to ComfortDelGro.

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Uber saw its losses rise nearly 40% to 1.46 billion in Q3 2017, and its SE Asia market has traditionally been weak. Singapore even put a freeze on private car ownership recently, meaning if Uber operate the way it was, it will be harder for Uber to expand under its current model. The newly appointed CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a major focus on cutting down losses, this newly injected capital will surely aid Uber as it competes head on with major competitor Grab in SE Asia after smoothing tensions with the local taxi firms. 

Lyft on the other hand are launching their autonomous taxi services in Boston USA with NuTonomy. Lyft is also planning a similar program in San Francisco with Lyft is already partnering with Waymo and Ford on other aspect of self-driving car development.


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Traditional automakers are also tapping into the taxi market through its own taxi service. Nissan in Japan has partnered with a local software company DeNA to launch the Easy Ride system, a self-driving taxis service to be launch next March year using a Nissan leaf electric car. There will be a 2 week free trial when the service begins in Yokohama. The national launch in Japan could be in the early 2020s. 

GM similarly is launching a ride-sharing service featuring its line of self-driving Chevy Bolts as early as 2019. GWM hasn’t mentioned a location yet, but it will mostly likely be in San Francisco and New York city, where GM is undergoing or planning to test their Chevy Bolts already. The launch of the self-driving taxis directly put GM into strong competitors of Uber and Waymo, and while GM is able to scale up quickly using its powerful production chain, it might be lacking when it comes to technology, where Waymo is miles ahead. 


Looking from the ground up, companies are hard at work to make electric flying cars a reality. Only they’re are not necessarily “flying cars”, more like a hybrid between a helicopter and an airplane, according to Justin Erlich, Uber’s Head of Policy of Autonomous vehicle and Urban Aviation. Uber’s air travel, which some dubbed it as “UberAir”, will be making trips from one point to another and cover no more than 60 miles because of the battery issues. You input your destination, and the Uber app will tell you where’s the closest Skyport. You will catch the UberAir to another location close to your final destination. It is designed for ‘super-commuting’, like skipping road traffic in San Francisco to downtown San Jose; or from the LA airport to East LA.




Tags: Taxi, Autonomous, Uber

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