by Mish

Alphabet’s carpooling program in San Francisco offers rides at amazingly cheap rates of 54 cents a mile, and that’s with a driver.

Please consider Google Takes on Uber With New Ride-Share Service.

Google is moving onto Uber Technologies Inc.’s turf with its own ride-sharing service in San Francisco that would help commuters inexpensively join carpools, said a person familiar with the matter, jumping into a booming but fiercely competitive market.
Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., began a pilot program around its California headquarters in May that enables several thousand area workers at specific firms to use the Waze app to connect with fellow commuters. It plans to open the program to all San Francisco-area Waze users this fall, the person said, with hopes of expanding the service if successful. Waze, which Google acquired in 2013, offers real-time driving directions based on information from other drivers.
Unlike Uber and its crosstown San Francisco rival Lyft Inc., which each largely operate as on-demand taxi businesses, Waze wants to connect riders with drivers who are already headed in the same direction. The company has said it aims to make fares low enough to discourage drivers from operating as taxi drivers. Waze’s current pilot charges riders at most 54 cents a mile—less than most Uber and Lyft rides—and, for now, Google doesn’t take a fee.
Google and Uber were once allies—Google invested $258 million in Uber in 2013—but more recently have become rivals in some areas. Alphabet executive David Drummond said on Monday that he resigned from Uber’s board because of rising competition between the pair. Uber, which has long used Google’s mapping software for its ride-hailing service, recently began developing its own maps.
The two also are racing to develop driverless cars. Google has led the way with such technology, founding a project in 2009 that has now amassed more than 1.8 million miles of autonomous driving with its test cars. Uber earlier this month bought Ottomotto LLC, a six-month-old driverless-truck startup founded by Google veterans. Uber said it plans to start testing robotic taxis in Pittsburgh over the next several weeks, beating Google to a commercial test of self-driving technology.
Like Uber and Lyft, Waze’s drivers aren’t employees of the company, the person said. Unlike Uber, Google doesn’t plan to vet drivers for a Waze service, instead relying on user reviews to weed out problem drivers, the person said.
Waze, which operates as its own unit within Google, boasts 65 million active users, many of whom alert other users to police or traffic accidents—a hallmark of the app.

Driverless Waze

Waze will  be driverless by 2022 if not before.

Millions of long haul truck jobs will vanish in the 2022-2024 time frame, at the latest. The demand for owning a car will collapse shortly thereafter (2026-2028), if not simultaneously.

This is not a prediction that household ownership of private cars will vanish. Rather, it’s a prediction that car ownership in urban areas declines 25% or more in the 2026-2028 time frame, then continues to sink over the years.

I may very well be way behind the curve.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Google, Chrysler Team Up on Minivans; GM, Lyft Test Self-Driving Electric Taxis

It appears my allegedly optimistic path for self-driving vehicles on the roads by 2020 may not have been optimistic enough.

Study Says by 2030 1/4th of Miles Driven will be Driverless

A convergence of three trends – Ride Sharing, Autonomous Driving, and Vehicle Electrification—will offer big-city dwellers cheap, convenient transportation, transforming the automotive industry, says a report by the Boston Consulting group.

Japan Expects Driverless Taxis by 2020; UK Testing Fleets of Driverless Trucks.

Driverless taxis, driverless trucks, and totally unstaffed grocery stores are in the news. In the “already here” category, Sweden boasts the first unstaffed grocery store. In the UK, fleet testing of driverless trucks begins in 2017. In Japan, 2020 is the deadline date for driverless taxis.

Naysayer Reality Check: Waymo’s Self-Driving Taxi Debuts in Phoenix, for Free

Every time I do a post on self-driving vehicles, readers respond that it cannot happen and won’t happen for a decade, if ever.

Commercial Driverless Taxis Have Arrived

After more than a decade, Waymo's driverless ride-hailing service is open to customers. For now, it's free.

Another Lehman Blunder Coming Up?

Telegraph writer Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says the Fed risks repeating Lehman blunder as US recession storm gathers.

Medallion Bubble Bursts: Taxi Protest Down and a US Price Collapse

If you are in the taxi driving business and paid a lot of money for a medallion or license, sell it while you still can, if you still can.

America First Coming Up?

Last week, in a rare bipartisan moment the Senate voted 82-14 confirming Robert Lighthizer as Trump’s U.S. Trade Representative.

Major Taxi Disruption on Horizon: California Driverless Cars by April

Driverless cars, with no person in the vehicle, may come to California as soon as April if rules are approved Monday.