Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has predicted the future of the company in an interview at the Economic Club of New York, likening it to the cartoon the Jetsons.
And it’s not far off.
Uber in October launched a new service to New York City passengers wanting to escape from earthly traffic: Uber Copter, which allows customers to book a helicopter ride to their destination.
Uber’s next move is flying cars, or VTOLs [vertical take-off and landing], which Khosrowshahi hopes to bring to everyone.
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“We’re aiming to make these vehicles available for everybody, we want them to be shared,” Khosrowshahi said.
“We think they can be built in a mass-market way, and to be built more like cars than airlines.”
Khosrowshahi said he intended for Uber to be the one-stop-shop for transport, and a solution for congestion in cities.
“We’re going to be an app where, if you want to get from point A to point B, we’re going to tell you the smartest way to get there,” Khosrowshahi said.
“All you need to imagine is a world where that copter is a VTOL. That vehicle will be safer, it will be quieter, we’re going to make sure it’s shared and it will be affordable for middle class to upper-to-middle class people.
And the convenience future Uber intends to bring its customers seems a little Black Mirror-esque.
“When we think about Uber, we essentially want to build up the operating system for your daily life… Anything that you want in your city, we want to be able to deliver it to you.”
Khosrowshahi said whether passengers chose to take a bike, scooter, taxi or VTOL, it would all be available on the app.
“As opposed to you figuring out what the best way to get from point A to B, we will be making that information available to you and allowing you to make the trade-off decision between price, availability, convenience… and offering you the best answers on a personal way.”
Uber also plans to take its Uber Eats business one step further.
“We’re going to transform our food business to local commerce,” he said.
“If you think about it, a restaurant is a box that has 30 SKUs [stock keeping unit] where the inventory never runs out, typically.
“We can extend that model to essentially every single local retailer...so that anything you want in your local city you can get it in maybe 30 minutes.”
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