ADSactly Tech News - A New Era of Ride Hailing, Mobile Convenience Stores and Information Age Accessibility

in technology •  3 months ago

ADSactly Tech News: A New Era of Ride Hailing, Mobile Convenience Stores and Information Age Accessibility


Image Source: WIRED

  • Technology has transformed how people get from place to place in a significant way.

  • There are new business models and tech companies looking to disrupt almost every area of modern day life including a staple of modern society, the urban convenience store.


I remember when I was young, I used to take the bus. It's funny to think that although I would imagine most people have taken a bus at some point in their life these days if you don't have a car there are is a middle ground between a bus and a taxi and there are options at many different price points when it comes to transportation in major U.S. cities.

It has only been six years since the famous ride-hailing company Uber made it's debut. The effect it has had in transportation globally has been pretty dramatic. Before Uber you had to either take a taxi or bum a ride from a friend. When the service came along it made the job of getting a ride as easy as making a call or sending a text message. Some people are still not familiar with Uber surprisingly. Many of our nation's seniors have stubbornly decided not to adopt the use of smartphones.

This may serve them great benefit when I think into it more... I sometimes wonder if smartphones are truly a blessing or actually a curse. That's a topic for another article though.

If you have never heard of Uber which is still remotely possible, it has been described like this:

Uber is a convenient, inexpensive and safe taxi service. Hire a private driver to pick you up & take you to your destination with the tap of a button on any smartphone device. A nearby driver often arrives to pick you up within minutes. Not only is this an on-demand car service, but you can even watch as your driver is en-route to come pick you up.

It has managed to put a lot of taxi drivers out of a job while at the same time creating new jobs for the technologically savy. You just need a smartphone and a car essentially and you can begin your brand new career in driving people around!

Now that I've opened this can of worms and explained what Uber is all about, it is important to note that they aren't the only player in the game these days. I remember when I went back home and was surprised to use another service called Lyft. I had used Uber in the past and had assumed Lyft worked the same way. It appeared to offer a better price on a ride and boy was I surprised at what happened!


Image Source: The Verge

After ordering my ride it picked me up promptly just as an Uber driver would have done. Everything seemed to be identical until my driver took me off course. I assumed the Lyft driver was taking a shortcut but then it became apparent that we were headed in the completely opposite direction. I questioned the driver about where we were going. He said he had to make another pickup and then we would be back on our way. It took me a split second to realize that I was not taking any old Uber copycat, this was a carpool service!

In an article published about a week ago by The Verge, it seems that Lyft originally was an Uber copycat but now it has grown into much more!

Lyft’s app for riders is getting a fresh new look, with a greater emphasis put on shared rides and public transportation. It’s Lyft first redesign in almost three years, and will begin rolling out to everyone who uses the ride-hailing service by the end of June, the company said.

So clearly Lyft is embracing this new competitive advantage of carpooling and trying to make the most of it! I'm completely in support of carpooling over traditional Uber rides. After all, it is more eco-friendly and sustainable isn't it?

There will be some major differences. Lyft’s carpooling service Lyft Line is being rebranded as “Shared Rides,” and will be more prominently featured in the app — part of the ride-hailing company’s broader mission to reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging strangers to take more trips together. After inputting a destination, riders will be asked to choose between a solo ride or a shared one, with fare estimates offered for both.

Lyft was one of the first ride-hailing companies to offer carpooling, launching Lyft Line in 2014. Now the company wants these shared trips to account for 50 percent of all of its business by the end of 2020. That goal fits in nicely with its other predictions, such as road pricing to encourage more carpooling, and ending personal car ownership.

In regards to my hometown of Seattle, I think Lyft is moving in a great direction and between them and the addition of increased bicycle lane routes perhaps we will get to a point where people really don't feel the need to own a car!

“A lot of how we’ve thought about this is to put shared rides front and center,” Lyft president John Zimmer told The Verge. The app “looks a lot better, and looks a lot more modern. But aside from it just being a fresh coat of paint, there was a lot of intention into how can we use the redesign to better deliver upon the mission of the company.”

If they are getting fully behind making themselves the greatest carpooling service to ever exist on this planet, I can get behind that. When it comes to ride-hailing I'll put Lyft ahead of Uber in my book!

Image Source: Pitchbook

Now that I've sort of strung Uber and Lyft together and explained what they are, what they do and how they are different, it is time to introduce a new theme to this evolving story. Waymo.

But wait... What does Waymo have to do with all of this? Well as @techblogger I've got to stay on top of the latest and greatest in terms of cutting edge technology and it seems that Uber and Waymo are in a heated race to dominate the robo-driver business.

Oh wait, that can't be good for human drivers could it? Not in the slightest, but that appears to be where we are going so best to be ahead of the game and start developing new skills if this struck a cord with you.

It turns out the two competitors are in a heated battle of global domination. Ok, that might be a bit overboard but there is no doubt that Uber is facing off with Waymo in a $2.8T battle for dominance of the 'robotaxi' market.

Alphabet's Waymo service is ferrying families around Phoenix in driverless minivans. Uber is still struggling to understand why one of its self-driving cars killed a pedestrian without slowing or stopping, the first recorded case of someone being killed by a fully autonomous vehicle. Tesla's camera-based, semi-autonomous Autopilot system seems to be in the habit of slamming into parked firetrucks at freeway speeds.

Clearly there have been and will continue to be setbacks. I've talked to friends about this and they think that the horror scenes of iRobot where AI takes control of the cars and tries to kill Will Smith will be commonplace if this driverless car becomes our new reality. I'm still on the fence. In some ways I see it taking away freedoms that we desperately need to maintain. On the other hand with the number of drunk driving fatalities each year it seems like a life-saving effort. The philisophical dilemmas of our modern world are significant indeed!

But this future will be extremely lucrative. UBS analysts, in a recent note to clients, outlined the case for why the market for autonomous vehicles (AV) overall could be worth upwards of $2.8 trillion per year by 2030. That's in addition to global car sales, which today are worth about $2 trillion annually. The bulk of the revenues to be captured in this new ecosystem will be in "robotaxis," pitting Waymo against current ridehailing leader and VC-industry titan Uber.

But I guess it is settled, iRobot, Total Recall, here we come! Get ready to be driven around by robots and AI, it seems to be significantly in the cards if the technologists have their way!


Image Source: The Spoon

If you've made it this far you've received an extensive education in ride-hailing services and what the future may hold for this industry. But what about the exciting world of disruption + ride hailing services?

If you have a dream or an idea to improve upon something that already exists you can make your dream a reality if you can get other people to share it with you and get some serious money and effort behind it!

That is where a new a startup called Cargo came from! Take a look at the picture and see if you can make out all the tasty snacks in the box! It turns out CarGo is making it easy for ride hailing service drivers to also make money running a convenience store! Disruption. Plain and simple.

Ride-hailing drivers who sign up with Cargo get shipments of the sort of things people would buy at a gas station (that’s where the people who drive you around in Ubers and Lyfts go to put gasoline in their vehicles): energy drinks, Advil, phone charging cables, candy bars, and so on. A passenger uses their smartphone to make a purchase, the driver hands it over (after parking, of course), and takes a cut of the sale. Cargo already operates in cities around the US, including New York, Chicago, DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Dallas. It’s aiming to reach 20,000 drivers this year.

What will they think of next? I've got to say this is incredibly dangerous for a guy like me. I'm trying to keep the snack and junk food to a minimum these days and having to stare at it as I get shuttled around town seems like a bit of torture on the side. But on the flip side, there may be an item that I really need and it would make my life so much easier if I didn't have to plan my day around a quick in and out to a 7-Eleven! Mixed feelings about this one indeed!

This week, Cargo took its first step overseas. Working with Uber competitor Grab in the company’s native Singapore, it launched a service called Grab&Go. Drivers who sell snacks and hand out free samples of beauty products, they say, can make nearly $200 a month on top of their regular earnings—and boost their ratings by delighting passengers with their oh-so-convenient wares.

This is outstanding news for drivers who have already decided to drive people around as a career anyways. They can now sell stuff to people as well and earn extra income! If I ever have a career crisis, this opportunity is looking more lucrative than ever. That is, until the robots take over!

Isn't it genius that you can get your ride home after a long night of drinking and partying while being offered magical cures Red Bulls and anti-hangover tablets?

“People are becoming passengers. What are they going to do with that time?” says James Bellefeuille, founder and COO of Vugo, a Minneapolis-based company that offers in-car entertainment for ride-hailing passengers via tablets mounted in the backseat.

Look at capitalism and how it operates! First came ride-hailing then came mobile convenience stores and a guy named James starts bragging about how passengers are actually great hostages to tempt with in-car entertainment! You just have to love it right?! No, we definitely do not but becoming more critical about these changes will most likely lead us all towards a better and happier future. We can protest these things if we are aware of them and resist collectively assuming we don't like them as a community.

I know this was a lot to take in and digest but as I've previously said in past articles, technology and distruptive services are evolving at an absolutely breakneck speed. Technology is becoming integrated with almost every facet of modern life but that doesn't mean we have to embrace it!

I would like to know how my fellow @ADSactly society members feel about ride-hailing services, mobile convenience stores and the possibility of a world full of robotic or AI drivers shuttling us around.

Do you use ride-hailing services? How would you compare them to the experiences you've had taking taxis?

Would you take advantage of a mobile convenience store if it was an option? How do you feel about robot drivers or AI controlled cars?

Would you feel safer being driven by a real human being?

Here's a chance for the @ADSactly community to leave their thoughts and opinions on this topic!

Thanks for reading.


Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

"The Dawn of Mobile Convenience Stores—and (Maybe) Free Rides" - WIRED

"So, What Is Uber?" - UberEstimate

"Lyft is redesigning its app to emphasize carpooling and mass transit" - The Verge

"Uber vs. Waymo in $2.8T battle for 'robotaxis'" - Pitchbook

Image Sources:

WIRED

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These new companies are disruptive indeed and in my opinion if the carpooling from Lyft works as planned they'll easily overtake Uber. As for what I think about autonomous cars, I'm on the fence. Because althoughI'm not a "car person" I fear we're starting to rely to much on AIs and I've seen too many futuristic movies to ignore where it all leads. lol But like you said, these technologies are happening and whether we like them or not so might as well get informed about them and if possible make some $ from them. Unfortunately I haven't any of those services, so far haven't seen any of them in country(Rwanda) but Grab&Go is the one I'd love to try out the most, sounds intriguing.

Cheers for the very educational article :)

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I too have fears about them now but give vehicle AI (and the IOT) some time to mature. If you compare deaths by miles driven, death by autonomous vehicles are far lower than by human error. In a couple years it won't be comparible.

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True, until a whole company has been hacked, and cars go haywire. lol Like I said, too many movies. But in all seriousness we ll have to stay informed and on top of them because they're already offering so many needed services and at much lower prices. Good for reducing greenhouses too.

Cheers for your comment and I wish you a blessed weekend :)

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Lyft is great, their carpooling strategy has a leg-up on Uber! AI controlled cars scare me but so do drunk drivers... It also scares me what AI controlled cars might do to this whole employment sector. We have very little power over how this technology will be implemented so lets just try to stay on top of it for now! Technology takes a bit of time to make its way to developing countries but if it saves money, it will arrive eventually! Thanks for your opinions on these things!

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True a lot of workers will probably lose their jobs and it is scary but, I think many might find something else to do in the same industry. There is a recent video I saw on Yt where Elon Musk said "humans are underrated" and that its because they relied too much on machines to make their cars, that they are still not producing enough Tesla 3s. So lets hope for the best for those workers :)

And for sure once these services get to my country I'll make sure to among the firsts to try it. Have a blessed weekend :)

Well, I'm one of those rare and wonderful seniors with a smart phone. For better or worse.

Ride hailing and sharing has a potential direct impact on me. I live alone, and could conceivably come to need rides to and from medical treatment and such. I expect Uber (or somebody) to give me an extra 5 years of independent living. That is important and valuable.

Thanks for a very thoughtful and thought provoking article. I really enjoyed it.

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You are a pretty hip old guy @bigtom13. The fact that you are involved with crypto says that you've managed to leap the technological gap separating the old technologically incapable generation with that of younger generations who have grown up with it. Services like Uber and Lyft are valuable! Bicycles are great too if someone has one and the fitness required to operate it! Happy you enjoyed the article and thanks as always for participating and getting involved here!

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Ahahhahaha. I have actually considered an electric assist bicycle as a neighborhood mover. My always problem with bicycles is the lack of motor!

How many advantages do smart telephones offer us, however, a high percentage of the citizens who use it, generally young people, give it undue use.

They usually use it to take photographs, some not accepted by society because they are outside the honorable social context.

There are otos that even make them viral and socially harm the people that may appear in these photos, maybe they damage their family life.

Other people only use them for games or watch videos are concentan and distracted and lose contact with the environment.

In terms of good use can save situations and even life, depending on the situation that may arise, as is the case of taxi frauds.

yujomar oficial.jpg

autotelefonomanos.jpg

Yes it has very important changes on ive lives. In our region uber is introduce before 2 years ago. But a lot of scope is here that attracts the people. I know about uber which was founded in 2009 as UberCab by Garrett Camp, the co-founder of StumbleUpon, and Travis Kalanick, who had sold his Red Swoosh startup for $19 million in 2007. ... He realized that sharing the cost with people could make it affordable, and his idea morphed into Uber.

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Very interesting backstory! I was unaware of this until you just brought it up! A huge disruptive service can be born out of a much smaller service backed by a powerful vision!

The horrible twist in this story is that Uber is going to use all this data they are collecting to create the perfect, frictionless system for when driverless cars finally arrive. Everybody who participates in Uber, whether as customer or driver, is helping to teach the system the way to replace human beings altogether.

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That is dark and scary! I definitely agree that data is being collected! What will it be used for? Lets hope for the best!

Good information.

Technology in service is the key to the needs of human society.

La mejor manera de expresar la guerra tecnológica debe ser así, tecnología en servicio, en ayuda al ser humano y no en alegorías bélicas... Saludos compañero

I don't think that either of these apps are already that much of a thing here where I am living. 'twas my first time hearing about it, but it seems like a decent enough idea.

Germany isn't as quickly when it comes to keeping up with these things, at least I perceive it that way. Maybe it is just my home town and the bigger cities already make more use of these.

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Many countries are very protective when it comes to multinational corporations messing applying services which could create unemployment problems.

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Employment is a big problem itself one way or the other. And it is just getting worse in the years to come.

We do not get any of those services here in Poland as far as I am aware.

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In time technological advances will make their way across the globe. Until then I'm sure Poland will get along just fine without them!

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Some things I would welcome, driverless cars is not one though, I ride motorbikes most of the time, and no way hozay do I want a computer riding them for me.
Have a superb week.

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@adsactly Waymo rocks! Give Tesla a couple years and no one will question the safety of their autonomous vehicles; same for Uber... the space (AI, IOT and robotics) is maturing fast! *Resteemed

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I agree with your points about safety being just a matter of time to perfect or almost perfect in regard to this technology!

I don’t second guess any movie I have seen . We our the future so let’s starts making new movies about year 3000 and beyond 🔥🚨🔥

👍 @techblogger.
My favorite is the robot driver, but it also gives me a great concern. I believe robot drivers are inevitable and will soon be part of our daily lives. But, how prepared are we? How will jobs be created for displaced drivers, especially uneducated ones?

I believe robot drivers will create much more opportunities and freedom, and also casualties. How would the damage be reduced or eliminated?