If the Uber network became dependent on robotaxis and independent of human drivers overnight, $UBER
management would have a less stressful time running the business.
For background, the majority of Uber's lawsuits stem from the issue of whether drivers should be considered independent contractors or employees and other disputes with drivers. All of these issues make Uber highly dependent on their HR and customer service departments, which are staffed with many people. Whenever customers have issues with drivers, Uber has to deal with the headaches of resolving those disputes and even having to ban drivers from the platform. With robotaxis, Uber doesn't need to keep a large staff for their HR and customer service departments as robotaxis would eliminate the majority of customer complaints.
, their $258 million
investment in Uber from 2013 looks to remain profitable as Waymo will work with Uber than work to disrupt it. According to CNBC, that stake in Uber has resulted in a 20X gain
during its IPO.
Robotaxis can serve as a deflationary pressure for rideshare services. Since Waymo will be managing the robotaxi network, Uber doesn't need to worry about matching supply and demand as Waymo's robotaxis will be operating 24/7. Supply is there and demand can come and go when it wants. Also, operating a robotaxi network is cheaper than operating a fleet of drivers who act as independent contractors. No need to worry about paying minimum wage and in some states, having to pay extra taxes relating to labor. Even if Uber and Waymo will share the revenues more evenly, both parties can afford to offer rides at lower prices.
Overall, this partnership makes me highly optimistic about the long-term viability of Uber's operations. I don't see robotaxis created by the Big Tech and Big Auto firms as threats to Uber's business because of this partnership.