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Comment Re:Encouraging corporate arrogance. (Score 1) 79

. It shouldn't cost Uber much to just run a website and payment system, but as long as investors and drivers have to subsidize the fares to attract customers...

It's a pretty complex and demanding "just run a website and payment system", but it's not billions of dollars a year hard.
But if they have to subsidize the fares as they say (is that billions?), how will they eventually make money?
Why won't Google or Apple or Ford or everyone else just come along with the self-driving cars and clean Uber's clock?

Patents is all I can come up with.
(But then to explain Lyft and other existing competitors.)

Comment Re:Encouraging corporate arrogance. (Score 1) 79

What I don't quite understand is how Uber will make money at the end of the day!

Rich asshats throw money at them en mass looking for the next yuge moneymaker. Whats not to understand.

What's not to understand is the business plan which those investors are looking at, wherein they expect Uber to be a "yuge moneymaker".
Do you have some insight into this? Because while it is obvious to you, slower people like myself don't get it.
By what means will Uber become profitable so that the investors will get their money back and more?

Comment Re:Encouraging corporate arrogance. (Score 1) 79

I am even more curious about where this $20 million goes.
Perhaps to increase the salaries of all those Uber drivers? No?

Uber drivers do not get salaries. They are paid by the mile.

It's only paid for miles while the passenger is in the car, of course. The miles getting to the pickup are not paid.
And all expenses and vehicle cost and maintenance are paid by the drivers. There are no health care or other benefits.

Operating cost is about 60-70 centers per mile; drivers are paid about 100 cents.
Rides are usually 2 miles, (plus 1 to 10 miles of unpaid overhead) with between zero and 4 rides per hour.
Most rides are the minimum fare: driver gets $4 gross.

Typical gross income for a busy driver in a major city is about $12/hour (before expenses, taxes, healthcare, etc.)
The net income is much less than half that.

Drivers often actually lose more than that, when they are dispatched to farther pickups.
(Drive for 7 miles, in about 16 minutes, to pick up someone who is just going 1 mile down the
block to get some smokes. Uber does not allow the driver to know the destination or length of trip
until the passenger is actually accepted, picked up, and in the car.)

Most drivers talk about how much money they "made", and even though they admit it's only around $10/hour,
that's before all their expenses, which they never count. Notice the high turnover of drivers,
and how constantly desperate Uber is to hire new drivers.

What I don't quite understand is how Uber will make money at the end of the day!
Currently, they are losing tremendous (more than a half-BILLION per quarter) amounts of money.
The fare that a passenger pays, never covers Uber's cost for the trip.
Maybe somehow when it's all fully self-driving cars, but that's very far off,
and every car manufacturer and high-tech megacompany will compete with Uber.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 140

Just about anyplace you could safely land a "flying car" you could also land a helicopter.

Not true. A helicopter can't be moving horizontally when it lands. A flying car with wheels could potentially be moving at 70+ MPH horizontally when it lands. Assuming they can avoid any blades that stick out beyond the sides of the vehicle, that design difference completely changes the equation.

Ok,, why do you think a helicopter with wheels couldn't land with a forward momentum of 70 MPH?
It's obviously possible for them to go forwards while descending, I've seen it.

Yes, helicopters can take off or land while moving forwards. There is at least one helicopter that requires this if it is more heavily loaded. You usually don't see helicopters doing this because the big feature of a helicopter is vertical take off and landing! (Duh)

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