“LET’S Uber.” Few companies offer something so popular that their name becomes a verb. But that is one of the many achievements of Uber, a company founded in 2009 which is now the world’s most valuable startup, worth around $70 billion. Its app can summon a car in moments in more than 425 cities around the world, to the fury of taxi drivers everywhere.
But Uber’s ambitions, and the expectations underpinning its valuation, extend much further: using self-driving vehicles, it wants to make ride-hailing so cheap and convenient that people forgo car ownership altogether. Not satisfied with shaking up the $100-billion-a-year taxi business, it has its eye on the far bigger market for personal transport, worth as much as $10 trillion a year globally.
Uber is not alone in this ambition. Companies big and small have recognised the transformative potential of electric, self-driving cars, summoned on demand.
Read more: Uberworld | The Economist