Let me quote myself:
I’ve been predicting the rise of the “Transportation Service Provider” — a consolidator of every mode of movement imaginable, integrated with technology, and designed to provide consumers with a suite of services for which they pay (as with telecommunications) one provider with a lot of money.
This is based on the assumption a single provider or oligopoly can emerge. Look to see some of today’s giants try to get even bigger and more diverse as fast as possible in order to dominate the market.
Now it’s just a case of documenting how and how fast this is occurring. Like this, from The Conversation:
High-tech companies and venture capitalists have been striving to break into the transport and mobility market. Between 2016 and 2018, venture capital investment in urban technology surpassed that of many other areas, including pharmaceuticals and artificial intelligence. Almost 70% of this investment was in mobility
There’s Google, of course. And then our aggressive friend Uber:
Uber was founded in 2009 as a peer-to-peer ride-sharing company. It has been one of the most successful startups. As of August 2018, it was valued at US$72 billion. In a recent interview with The Economist, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said his goal is for Uber to become the Amazon of transport. …
Uber is involved in a range of transport-related offerings, including ride sharing, pooled ride sharing, share bikes and scooters, autonomous vehicles, food delivery and freight.
The company is looking to expand into public transit. Earlier this year, it created the Cincinnati Mobility Lab to conduct research and engage with employers to help Cincinnati, Ohio, develop a transport plan to increase public transport use.
And of course there’s the Chinese:
The third major player is Didi Chuxing. Established in 2012, the Beijing-based company has attracted venture capital funding and was valued at US$56 billion as of August 2018. Didi was a major competitor to Uber in China until in 2016 it purchased Uber’s Chinese operations for US$35 billion. Until recently it operated in China only, but is now branching out in Mexico, Brazil and Australia, with plans for further expansion into a number of other countries.
Like Uber, Didi provides transport services across taxis, minibuses, ride pooling and ride, car, bicycle and e-scooter sharing.
The public thinks this battle is mainly about providing another option to taxis. The current coverage over allowing ride-hailing in BC is a good illustration of how we’re missing what this is really about. The provincial government has been wise to take its time, but I don’t see much evidence that it sees the larger picture and is preparing the tools needed to ensure the public interest prevails.