Unravelling the magic of Uber

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Pascal Borremans

Pascal Borremans


Travis Kalanick

Today at Dreamforce (2015), Travis Kalanick continued the trend of innovation and being future-minded. Travis Kalanick? Who is he, you ask? Well, he is the guy that is revolutionizing our transportation! He is the founder and CEO of Uber and inspired us with a story that simply blew me away.

Imagine it is 2008 and you’re in your hotelroom in San Francisco, getting ready to attend that amazing conference you have been looking forward to all year. You’re running a little late and quickly go downstairs to catch a taxi and be in time for the keynote. When you step outside, you realize you messed up. Dozens of people are competing for the same 5 taxis… It’s a nightmare. Enter Travis. Travis is the one that added flexibility to the system. He’s the one that made reliability the number 1 priority, with affordability and convenience following closely. Each time you need a ride, a driver shows up in five minutes.

Uber Magic

Queen may have sung about a kind of magic, but that’s not the case with Uber. Behind the scenes there is a statistical model that predicts demand on the long term to streamline the onboarding of new drivers. However, the coolest technology is the real-time prediction: how much demand will there be in the next 15 minutes per neighborhood? That demand info is displayed on a heat map, where it’s combined with the current drivers per neighborhood. Based on this result other drivers are proactively sent to the right neighborhoods to show up at your doorstep in 5 minutes!

The future calls!

Transportation is more than just providing a car to get around. Products like Uber Pool -where you share a ride with other passengers- are making rides cheaper and are increasing the capacity, and thus enforcing reliability of the service. The ultimate goal is to make Uber cheaper than owning a car! With currently about 1.000 rides per minute, they are slowly, but steadily taking over the world. Imagine a world without parking problems, less congestion, more jobs and a diminishing climate pollution… Isn’t that what we all want?

Transportation needs to become a commodity. It should be as accessible as water running down the tap. Everywhere for everyone! There are people who ask to add a ride scheduler. This will not be the case. Transportation should become a commodity, remember? Have you ever scheduled your shower in the morning? No, you just open the water, because you know it’s there.

As always there are people that oppose this idea and regulations to overcome. It is so with every major revolution: “When the first cars drove in the city, a man with 2 flags had to walk in front of them.”

Are you going to be part of the future? Or will you walk around with 2 flags?

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