Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new self-driven car company UberX will be in the business of getting drivers to the right destinations in a way that resembles that of traditional taxis, but without the cost and risks of self-drive.
In the future, UberX cars will be equipped with sensors that can detect obstacles and avoid them in ways that conventional taxi companies can’t, and will also be able to park in lanes for long stretches of time without needing to be stopped by a human.
“Our goal is to be able not only to take over the driving role, but also to take the taxi and other commercial vehicles off the road,” Kalanicks new chief technology officer, Amit Singhal, told investors in an investor call Thursday.
“That is going to be an entirely new business model for Uber.”
Uber will also offer a carpooling service, and an app that will allow passengers to book rides and make reservations for the vehicles.
Kalanickers vision is for the company to be one of the top-three transportation companies in the world by 2020.
“The car will be the new vehicle of choice for people who want to get to and from work and places they want to be,” Singhal said.
“It will be a driver-based economy, and I think that will be exciting for the world.”
Kalanackers vision is that the self-flying cars will replace traditional taxis and buses in the future.
Kalanos original plan was to have all cars go through a massive trial program before the end of the year, but he and his team have been able to delay the process.
By the end, Uber will have deployed more than 200,000 vehicles, and has hired more than 60,000 drivers.
Uber is currently testing the self drive system in San Francisco, but is also working with UberX in New York and Los Angeles, according to Singhal.
The company is also partnering with Lyft and others to test the technology in the Bay Area.
“Uber has the opportunity to really drive the market in a different way than traditional transportation,” Singhl said.
Kalans goal is that self-drivers will also take over as the main means of transportation for the masses.
Uber’s self-parking car will take a driver and a passenger, and have a separate carpool compartment for each driver and passenger.
Uber will charge for each vehicle, but the company will also pay the driver for every trip he or she takes.
“When the car comes to the curb, we will take that car for free,” Singha said.
Uber currently uses technology to pay drivers.
The self-Driving cars will not be a replacement for traditional taxis in the short term, Singha added.
“We’re very much focused on making the service as safe as possible and making sure the vehicle stays parked for as long as possible,” Singhin said.
But Kalanikos vision for the future of transportation is a vision of a world where Uber has the monopoly on self-employment in cities and in places where people don’t have the financial means to rent a car.
Uber has said it is planning to hire 100,000 people over the next four years.