Author Topic: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)  (Read 7127 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29902
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #75 on: June 05, 2018, 10:12:19 pm »
I think the obvious one is the requirement of a medallion that costs as much as a nice house. You can't possibly be suggesting that a criminal background check, vehicle safety requirements and universal service obligations justify a cost of $700,000 per cab?!

It should be a license you renew each year for a few hundred bucks max, a written and road test and vehicle inspection, pretty simple really. And get with the times and provide a smartphone app for ride hailing because that's what an entire new generation is expecting.

That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.
But it kinda reminds me of the time Altium "permanently" dropped their price by 75% overnight. Tough titties to those who just paid the previous price. There was some uproar, but it wasn't people's entire life savings on the line so they got away with it.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2285
  • Country: ca
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #76 on: June 05, 2018, 10:19:31 pm »
I guess it's similar to when you buy an expensive appliance at an appliance store (or any big purchase) and then they go on a huge blow out sale a week later.  Some stores do offer some kind of protection for that though. 

Another thing they should get rid of is the price fixing.  Taxis have to charge a set fee and arn't allowed to set their own prices to try to be competitive.   They can't charge higher, or lower.  For example a taxi service in my town wanted to offer rides anywhere for a fixed price on new years eve to encourage people not to drink and drive and they were not allowed. They MUST use the meter.   Similarly a random person posted on FB that they were offering rides for anyone and they were told they can't. Why not?  Anyone who has a driver's license should be allowed to give people rides.   Obviously as a user of that it's a risk you should be ready to take.  If the person turns out to be a rapist, well that's already illegal and deal with it if it happens. 
 
The following users thanked this post: james_s

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #77 on: June 05, 2018, 11:20:42 pm »
That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.
But it kinda reminds me of the time Altium "permanently" dropped their price by 75% overnight. Tough titties to those who just paid the previous price. There was some uproar, but it wasn't people's entire life savings on the line so they got away with it.

Sure they can, I mean it sucks but nothing lasts forever, and sooner or later change is coming. We will have a whole new generation of people to whom the existing taxi system is seen as an anachronism from a past era. Sometimes things that were once incredibly valuable become almost worthless overnight. It sucks for those who are invested in it, but investing so much in anything is a large risk.
 

Offline VK5RC

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 2264
  • Country: au
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2018, 03:32:18 am »
Society has to have some protection built in for those who can't fight for themselves. Older people who cannot use a smart phone have to have some protection, the taxi system use to offer some protection. Uber side-stepped many of these and Uber drivers are probably getting screwed ' to some degree. The feedback system is good but other parts of Uber suck.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline Towger

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1554
  • Country: ie
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #79 on: June 06, 2018, 04:30:53 am »


That's the trick though, they can't just drop the $700k system, there are over 13,000 people "invested" in that system.

You can. Happen here almost 20 years ago.  Taxi drivers woke up in the morning to find their 'Taxi Plate' they had paid hundreds of thousands for was only worth a thousand, and anyone could apply for one.  It was the result of a court case, so no warning in advance.  The downside was listening to them whinging about it for years.  The government eventually gave them a few thousand compo.

 

Offline Kjelt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5692
  • Country: nl
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2018, 07:27:49 am »
The reason for the high cost of the medallion is to limit the number of cabs allowed to operate in the city.
Again, read up on the history of the medallion system and why it was implemented.
The medallions were a solution to the problems of oversupply, dangerous driving and the refusal of many drivers to take passengers to those "bad" parts of the city.
Again, again, most of the medallions sold in the last many years have not come from the NYC T&LC directly, but were sold at auction, and as such the profit from the sales does not go to the city but rather to the previous holders of the medallions. Nobody was putting guns to the heads of the medallion buyers, either.
So the real problem was not the medailion itself but the system around it. They should have leased the medailion per year to the driver.
Tickets, reprimants, complaints etc. could be taken into account if the next year the lease is continued or not. Fair lease price per year that pays for the needed bureaucracy. But being able to sell/auction it at open market is just achieving the opposite, criminal organisations with lots of cash can take a foothold in the system.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2018, 04:58:46 pm »
Society has to have some protection built in for those who can't fight for themselves. Older people who cannot use a smart phone have to have some protection, the taxi system use to offer some protection. Uber side-stepped many of these and Uber drivers are probably getting screwed ' to some degree. The feedback system is good but other parts of Uber suck.


My partner's 93 year old grandfather uses a smartphone, what precludes older people from being able to use one? For those with poor eyesight it would not be a large stretch to add the ability to hail a cab via a phone call or other method.
 

Offline Bassman59

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1265
  • Country: us
  • Yes, I do this for a living
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #82 on: June 06, 2018, 07:14:56 pm »
Another thing they should get rid of is the price fixing.  Taxis have to charge a set fee and arn't allowed to set their own prices to try to be competitive.   They can't charge higher, or lower.  For example a taxi service in my town wanted to offer rides anywhere for a fixed price on new years eve to encourage people not to drink and drive and they were not allowed. They MUST use the meter.

There are reasons for the price "fixing."

One is that customers want to know, before they get into the car, what the trip will cost. It prevents price gouging. What is a customer supposed to do if he arrives at the destination and the charge is significantly more than expected?

On the other side of that coin, minimum prices prevent the race to the bottom, where the driver who can afford to handle losses for the longest time wins as the others drop out.

As for the thing about your local taxi service offering fixed-price rides on New Years Eve, my city (Tucson) does that. Even better -- they offer a service where they'll take you to get your car the next morning. But the blame here is for your city not responding to a specific need. Maybe the taxi services can present the idea well in advance?
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2696
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #83 on: June 16, 2018, 05:18:56 am »
We all hear of "disruptive technology" but the darker side of a disruptive technology is can be rather sad.  RIP and condolences to the families.

Another Taxi Driver in Debt Takes His Life. That’s 5 in 5 Months.

New York Times, May 27, 2018; By Nikita Stewart and Luis Ferré-Sadurní
...
...

Well, hate to give such an update...  15 days after my initial post, another one.  That makes 6 in 6.5 months.  I really feel bad for those guys.  He was $300 short on being able to pay his half of the monthly weekly taxi+medallion lease according to his partner who has the other half of the lease.  59 years old, 36 years being a cabbie.

So, for those of us seeing how our own industry is being eaten away by changes, remember, it could be worst...  We just have to make the best of things.

Article: "Another cash-strapped NYC cabbie commits suicide;"  New York Post, June 15.
https://nypost.com/2018/06/15/another-cash-strapped-nyc-cabbie-commits-suicide/

EDITED:  It was weekly payment, not monthly as I initially posted.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:21:41 am by Rick Law »
 

Online metrologist

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1794
  • Country: 00
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #84 on: June 16, 2018, 12:42:13 pm »
I'm not sure why the cabbie industry does not stand up and revolt the government's inaction. This is an artificial situation and I know a SFCU is suing SF city for medallion value loss.

This is ripe for class action.  :-//

The distinction between the services is not clear to me, they seem the same, yet are bound quite differently.  :-//

« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 01:08:50 pm by metrologist »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #85 on: June 16, 2018, 04:36:57 pm »
The cabbie industry has been making a big stink about it in many cities, their attitude is a big part of the reason I resolved to never again take a traditional cab. I hope that industry dies so it can be reborn in a form that makes sense in this century, assuming it continues to resist adapting.
 

Offline rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2672
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #86 on: June 16, 2018, 05:29:12 pm »
Some people dislike cabs and maybe they do have a bad attitude, but the fact remains that the playing field is not level. Uber and taxis basically provide the same service, yet Uber does not have to contend with any regulatory constraints.
 

Online Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4409
  • Country: nl
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #87 on: June 16, 2018, 05:35:35 pm »
The problem isn't the constraints, their live savings are wiped out regardless. NYC up till recently cooperated with AND profited from the existing monopoly they created, to now turn around and let Uber destroy their live savings is immoral. To do it based on the disingenuous argument that Uber is not a taxi company likewise.

An argument could be made that there should be a transition to a liberalized taxi market, but try to do it in a way which doesn't kill people.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:40:10 pm by Marco »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #88 on: June 16, 2018, 05:50:09 pm »
It has been said already, but change is coming. There will be those who try to fight it and lose, and those who adapt to keep up with the change and survive. Currently much of the taxi industry seems to be taking the historically losing route of fighting to resist the inevitable change. In the evolution of society there will be some who lose, that's inevitable. As Dave said earlier, you can't legislate that the gravy train goes on forever. People who put their life savings into a taxi medallion made what is IMHO a poor investment, it should be obvious that eventually things could change. Protected monopolies are a bad deal for the consumer.

Now let's see what happens, are the taxi companies going to modernize to compete with services like Uber, or are they going to kick and scream and fight to maintain the status quo? If I were the gambling sort I'd bet on the latter, in which case it is inevitable that they will lose eventually. If they refuse to adapt, they will very quickly find they have become a quaint anachronism of a bygone era.
 

Online Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4409
  • Country: nl
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #89 on: June 16, 2018, 06:56:29 pm »
They are going to go bankrupt caught between regulations on one side and mountains of debt on the other. At a trickle pace, where no large investor can take over the post-bankrupt infrastructure wholesale and create a decent business from it even if the regulatory burden wasn't there.
 

Offline Kjelt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5692
  • Country: nl
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #90 on: June 17, 2018, 08:15:27 am »
The above replies sound typical extreme republican american to me.
We don't care about someone elses situation as long as it does not affect us.

Now it is waiting for the next headlines, cabbies that are not taking their own lives but are starting to kill Uber drivers and passengers, with all the guns around and unfairness of the system you can already see that coming  :palm:
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15122
  • Country: za
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #91 on: June 17, 2018, 10:28:50 am »
The above replies sound typical extreme republican american to me.
We don't care about someone elses situation as long as it does not affect us.

Now it is waiting for the next headlines, cabbies that are not taking their own lives but are starting to kill Uber drivers and passengers, with all the guns around and unfairness of the system you can already see that coming  :palm:

That is already occurring here in South Africa, where Uber has to compete with not only the meter taxis but with the minibus taxi industry, that is essentially the public transit network, as they far outnumber the buses and trains, and both groups dislike Uber for taking what they see as their money. Here though Uber is registered as a taxi company, and the drivers have to have both a PDP and a commercial insurance and 6 monthly roadworthyness test ( for what that is worth, with all the "cooldrink' at the testing stations) for the vehicles.

Pretty much a near standard Uber or other "rideshare" is based on either a Toyota Avanza 7 seater sedan, or a Toyota Etios, with the next being VW Polo. Pretty much 6 out of every 10 Avanza'a I see driving around can be identified as Uber, from the square logo inside the windscreen and the 2 registration disks above them. The other 4 are company staff vehicles or registered meter taxi as well. only thing is the Uber drivers tend to be a lot more careful drivers, the feedback from the passengers via the app really does make a difference, as they do not speed, do not drive through red lights and tend not to stop anywhere ( including on the fast lane of the freeway) to pick up or drop passengers.

But more expensive though, as $1 will get me into town, just walk out the door, put a finger in the air and wait under 2 minutes for the next minibus. Uber will be $10 for the same trip, but I will travel in style.
 

Online metrologist

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1794
  • Country: 00
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #92 on: June 17, 2018, 02:23:15 pm »
Now let's see what happens, are the taxi companies going to modernize to compete with services like Uber, or are they going to kick and scream and fight to maintain the status quo? If I were the gambling sort I'd bet on the latter, in which case it is inevitable that they will lose eventually. If they refuse to adapt, they will very quickly find they have become a quaint anachronism of a bygone era.

Exactly how do they "modernize" themselves out of such governmental corruptive debt and repression? They have the exact same tech and provide the exact same service.

I am sure you are invested in equally pervasive facets of corruption such as this. There are many industries that the government represses under similar rules, and that they can ignore overnight.

Try to look at this beyond the specific industry you hate, and apply the same procedure to one you love.

This situation has nothing to do with technology, it's purely political.
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5951
  • Country: us
    • Personal site
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #93 on: June 17, 2018, 04:57:02 pm »
Exactly how do they "modernize" themselves out of such governmental corruptive debt and repression? They have the exact same tech and provide the exact same service.
They indeed can not get rid of medallions and all that BS in the near term, but they can improve their service. Not individual taxi drivers, of course, but some sort of a union or association, whatever they have. Instead of collecting the money and spending them on "administrative" tasks, they can invest them in developing a service that lets me call a taxi anywhere in the country using the same app or phone number.

They can also have the same union lobby for getting rid of the medallions.

NRA somehow manages to do similar things. Now taxi drivers need an organization similar to NRA.
Alex
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #94 on: June 17, 2018, 05:13:47 pm »
I'm not republican, nor is it a matter of me not caring, but the current system is broken and corrupt, change is coming, change is inevitable. Some here are proposing we prop up the existing corruption and prolong the pain by keeping the existing protected monopoly, something that in the US at least is illegal, except when it's not, often because of mafia owned politicians. This is a matter of either rip the bandaid off quickly, or continue to slowly tug at it from different directions and suffer. How should they modernize? Develop an app that can be used for hailing a cab, make it work as seamlessly as Uber, because there is a whole generation of people coming that expects it to work like this. There are people of adult age today who have never existed in a world without internet and mobile phones. Get rid of the extortion pricing on certain routes like trips to and from airports. Keep the cars, clean, have the ability to rate the drivers, this is the sort of thing a little competition is good for.

It's very similar to the music situation, digital downloads were coming whether the industry liked it or not. Very quickly people started to expect to be able to download their music instantly and play it on any number of different devices. The industry could have easily seen this coming, modernized and embraced it, and made a killing selling digital downloads (as Apple eventually proved) but instead they kicked and screamed and fought and resisted the change, trying to force maintaining the status quo through various legislation and legal battles to stamp out the digital revolution and look at what happened, they lost. People who had for years been forced to bend over and take it suddenly had an alternative and they took it. Fighting this sort of paradigm shift is futile.

Now as for industries I love, these paradigm shifts happen in all industries, software is one that I'm involved in which has changed tremendously over the years. Perhaps the fact that "adapt or die" has always been an integral part of my career path causes me to have less sympathy for those who refuse to adapt and try to fight the change instead because it's so obvious to me that is a losing battle. I don't think anyone was passing laws to ban transistors or ICs in order to protect all the people who had their livelihoods tied up in vacuum tube manufacturing and servicing of tube equipment. We didn't ban C++ to protect all the COBOL and Fortran developers. Things change, they always have changed, they always will change.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3300
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2018, 03:12:27 am »
Change is real, change is inevitable.  But it is better when there is some control over how change happens.  COBOL and FORTRAN have largely been pushed aside.  I can't really speak for COBOL but FORTRAN is still better in many ways for scientific programming than any of its successors because it has an intrinsic complex data type.  Yeah, C++ allows definition of data types and operator overloading so that this can be simulated, but it isn't standardized.

Other changes have happened that weren't improvements.  The mandated replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFL or others for example.  While the LED bulbs are now indeed an improvement the whole CFL thing was a mini-disaster.

You can call thinking through and planning change picking at a bandage that should be ripped off instead, but in reality that bandage ripping should be the result of thought and planning, and is not always the best approach.
 

Online vk6zgo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4948
  • Country: au
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2018, 04:33:29 am »
I'm not republican, nor is it a matter of me not caring, but the current system is broken and corrupt, change is coming, change is inevitable. Some here are proposing we prop up the existing corruption and prolong the pain by keeping the existing protected monopoly, something that in the US at least is illegal, except when it's not, often because of mafia owned politicians. This is a matter of either rip the bandaid off quickly, or continue to slowly tug at it from different directions and suffer. How should they modernize? Develop an app that can be used for hailing a cab, make it work as seamlessly as Uber, because there is a whole generation of people coming that expects it to work like this.
Swan Taxis in Perth, Western Australia already have such an app, as well as tracking, etc, in addition to standard methods of calling a cab.
Quote

There are people of adult age today who have never existed in a world without internet and mobile phones. Get rid of the extortion pricing on certain routes like trips to and from airports. Keep the cars, clean, have the ability to rate the drivers, this is the sort of thing a little competition is good for.

It's very similar to the music situation, digital downloads were coming whether the industry liked it or not. Very quickly people started to expect to be able to download their music instantly and play it on any number of different devices. The industry could have easily seen this coming, modernized and embraced it, and made a killing selling digital downloads (as Apple eventually proved) but instead they kicked and screamed and fought and resisted the change, trying to force maintaining the status quo through various legislation and legal battles to stamp out the digital revolution and look at what happened, they lost. People who had for years been forced to bend over and take it suddenly had an alternative and they took it. Fighting this sort of paradigm shift is futile.

Now as for industries I love, these paradigm shifts happen in all industries, software is one that I'm involved in which has changed tremendously over the years. Perhaps the fact that "adapt or die" has always been an integral part of my career path causes me to have less sympathy for those who refuse to adapt and try to fight the change instead because it's so obvious to me that is a losing battle. I don't think anyone was passing laws to ban transistors or ICs in order to protect all the people who had their livelihoods tied up in vacuum tube manufacturing and servicing of tube equipment.
This analogy fails, as the same people making tubes were, by & large, the same ones making semiconductors.

The same applies to those servicing tube equipment.
Yes, some people left the industry because they "didn't like the new stuff", but they were comparatively, few.
In both cases, the change was quite slow, allowing plenty of time to adapt.

In neither case, did one company unilaterally decide to ignore the established rules & "do their own thing".
(Well , actually, a few did, but in Oz speak, "went down the gurgler" as a result.)

Most of the radical changes in how we work have been due to management's perception of technological change, rather than that change itself.
The result was that staff were often left trying to meet unrealistic  expectations of what was possible with current technology.
Quote

We didn't ban C++ to protect all the COBOL and Fortran developers. Things change, they always have changed, they always will change.


 Again, this was a slow, progressive change.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 10:35:37 am by vk6zgo »
 

Offline Kjelt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5692
  • Country: nl
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #97 on: June 18, 2018, 06:44:21 am »
And do not forget the impact of the change. In this case lifesavings are destroyed, this really impacts lifes esp. when the people are nearing retirement and see that vanish into thin air.
If you own a house and paid mortgage your entire life to pay it off and then tomorrow the government is making a law that takes possesion of that house.
See how you feel and act. Or your pensionfunds zerod because some law change.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9518
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #98 on: June 18, 2018, 10:16:52 pm »
But the change is happening, period, it cannot be stopped, so either try to adapt and compete, or try to fight it and lose, those are the two choices. Something terrible could happen to the market tomorrow and my house could become completely worthless, that's not a pleasant situation but it could happen. I do not rely on an artificially protected monopoly to maintain the value of my house. The government is not going to just take the medallions, simply they will not be worth anywhere near what they once were, that sucks but that's life, they should never have been worth so much to start with.

Ride sharing services are flourishing because they offer a tremendously greater appeal to the customer just like digital music downloads flourished because they offer a tremendously greater appeal, and more recently streaming video services are hugely popular because traditional cable and satellite services have like the taxi services, long relied on being a monopoly or duopoly and now alternatives have appeared, offering in many ways a much better experience to the customer. The smarter cable companies have been finding ways to cash in on this shift, while others have tried to fight it and surprise surprise, they're losing. The customer is king, if you rest on your laurels for too long and rely on having the ability to tell the customer your way or the highway, sooner or later an alternative will come along and they will take it.

As for CFLs, I don't understand what was a disaster about them. Sure some of them were garbage and didn't last, others were pretty good. LED is vastly superior but I have not used an incandescent bulb for general illumination in nearly 20 years. I was actually surprised to find that people were hoarding them as they were being phased out around 10 years ago, I wasn't even entirely conscious of the fact that people still used them and couldn't imagine wanting to. Despite their disadvantages, the drastically reduced energy consumption made CFLs and later LEDs a no-brainer. It's not like the savings were trivial, it was like a 5x reduction and I never again had to walk into a dark room and have a bulb fail with a nerve wracking flash and pop when I flipped the switch.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3300
  • Country: us
Re: The disruption of disruptive technology (Uber)
« Reply #99 on: June 19, 2018, 01:30:54 am »
My experience with CFLs differed greatly.  While they did use less energy, much more than half of those I bought lasted less than the several hundred hours of incandescents.  I do have survivors that are nearly three decades old  now, but they are the exceptions.   Add little foibles like slow turn on, changing brightness over warmup, inability to dim and required disposal as hazardous waste and it sounds like a disaster to me.  Without that side trip we might have arrived at LEDs a few years earlier.

Perhaps this difference in experience is a good explanation, or part of one, for why adaptation to change is often harder than you would predict.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf