Uber wants your car now, too
Back in 2016, Kevin Maney published an essay in Newsweek, titled "Why the World Hates Silicon Valley." Uber has just given us another reason. They actually want to take over our cars now, in the name of "sustainability" so that everyone will be forced to ride Uber.
According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marc Scribner:
Uber has signed onto a document called “Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities,” which was prepared by short-term car rental company ZipCar and a who’s who of left-wing green pressure groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Smart Growth America’s Transportation for America advocacy project, and the World Resources Institute, to name a few.
Most of the principles are fact-free platitudes about “livability,” “zero emissions,” and “sustainability,” which is typical politician-speak for increasing mass transit subsidies and painting bike lanes on city streets while neglecting maintenance. So, they basically call for upholding the status quo in urban transportation politics. And to this motley progressive coalition’s credit, the principles document does endorse user fees, with road pricing being the only known way to effectively mitigate traffic congestion.
But where it really goes off the rails is with its final principle:
10. WE SUPPORT THAT AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES (AVS) IN DENSE URBAN AREAS SHOULD BE OPERATED ONLY IN SHARED FLEETS.
So what the once-innovative ride-share tech giant is doing is now collaborating with big city machine pols of the leftwing stripe to secure market share for itself against all those deplorables out there who drive their own cars. It's no different from the conventional taxi companies that used to cozy up to the machine pols and fix prices and dole out medallions. In fact, it's exactly the same thing, only bigger, because they want the rights to our cars, starting in certain areas, all to save the planet.
Which is why tech has gotten too big for its britches these days. It's just amazing how tech goes from individual innovations that empower individuals to crony capitalist set-asides to keep the go-go-growth going, a bad tactic that ultimately disempowers consumers and kills the growth in the long run.
It shows that time is long overdue for some anti-Trust action from Congress to break these behemoths with no place to go upward but regulation up. If they can't innovate as they used to, but want the big dollars anyway, then they need to quit trying to Washington their way to wealth with odious swamp things in politics.
As Maley observes in his essay, we all "love our phones and apps and cheap stuff, but we don't like feeling economically marginalized."