After having his first ride in a Waymo, Naval tweets "Just as ride-sharing hailed the end of taxis, autonomous vehicles hail the end of ride-sharing." Here is a screenshot of it.
For context, in SF, LA, and other places outside of Phoenix where Waymo offers robotaxi rides, you need to use the Waymo app to ride their robotaxis. The only reason why Waymo needed $UBER
in Phoenix was because their marketing efforts weren't as effective as they were in SF. As the waitlist for Waymo SF, LA, and other cities remains large, Waymo is finding that it doesn't need Uber's help in scaling.
bulls on CommonStock think that Uber's network effect is why Waymo will still choose to do business with Uber. If Waymo wanted to scale fast, then sure, it would want Uber to give them customers. But Waymo is different. They're not in a rush to be #1 to market like $TSLA
or Cruise. Instead, they're taking their time and ensuring that the scaling of the business goes smoothly. There's still FOMO from nearly a million people that are still on the Waymo waitlist and I can see that excitement last for years as more people get off the waitlist and enthusiastically describe their first ride with Waymo. Clearly Waymo can thrive without Uber. And as those people get off the waitlist, Waymo will be their main transportation app, not Uber.
Me personally, I'm glad that autonomous vehicles will provide a better alternative than ride-hailing apps. The ride-hailing business model has been so dependent on screwing over drivers and on cheap debt for so long that they're simply unsustainable businesses. Instead of drivers driving people around places for menial wages, those drivers can do higher valued tasks that can give them higher wages and better benefits. At the same time, consumers will continue to receive the benefits of being able to order a ride wherever and whenever they need.
As long as the government can reduce the red tape on robotaxi rollout, the future looks exciting for Waymo.
Naval agrees with me!