Uber CEO: Full Driverless Is More Than 15 Years Away
via Politico Pro, June 11, 2019
By Tanya Snyder
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said today that he doesn’t expect Uber’s ride-hailing service to be fully driverless for at least 15 years.
“No drivers? I think it will be 15-plus years,” he said in an interview at the Economic Club of Washington. “I think it’ll take a long time.”
“There’s this drama about robots replacing humans, and I think the better thing than humans alone and robots alone are robots and humans working together,” Khosrowshahi said. Noting that robots are good at repetitive, predictable tasks, he said, “We’ll get machines to do the simple stuff, then we’ll have humans do the difficult stuff” like navigating roundabouts and unprotected left turns.
Still, he said he thinks that within the next five years, there will be “some driverless vehicles out in the markets in a very, very limited way.”
With the Uber Elevate conference beginning later today, Khosrowshahi also spoke briefly about Uber’s plans for a pooled helicopter transportation service, saying that he expected that a ride from downtown Manhattan to JFK in an Uber helicopter would cost about $200. He said they wanted to price it for “the masses, versus just the elites.”
He said the helicopter taxis will “eventually be driverless” but did not offer a timeline.
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Washington, D.C. — The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) released the following statement on the bipartisan introduction of the Workforce Data for Analyzing and Tracking Automation (DATA) Act, which would measure the impact of automation on workers in order to inform workforce development strategies and best practices:
“PTIO exists to identify and promote policies and programs that will help ensure Americans benefit from the adoption of autonomous vehicle technology, and doing so is contingent upon an evidence-based understanding of automation’s impact on the workforce. Soliciting the expertise of the National Academies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, as well as expert stakeholders, is an important step toward building a robust foundation of data capable of informing impactful policymaking. We applaud Senators Peters and Young for their leadership on this issue and introduction of the Workforce DATA Act.”
The Workforce DATA Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN), would authorize the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — in conjunction with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine — to record the effect of automation on the workforce and measure those trends over time, including job displacement, the number of new jobs created, and the shifting of in-demand skills. It also would establish a workforce development advisory board comprised of business leaders and other expert stakeholders to advise the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on workforce development strategies based on the amassed data.