Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Why Uber’s Dominance is No Sure Thing" (GOOG)

From Barron's Next, Feb. 22:

Google, with its deep pockets, is slowly turning its Waze app into a ride-sharing platform.
Uber isn’t a public company yet, but it’s already larger than most of them. Private investors have valued the company at $68 billion, and there’s no debating the transformational impact the company is having on transportation in the United States. 

But that doesn’t mean Uber can’t be knocked from its perch. Rival Lyft is trying, helped by a big investment from General Motors. But perhaps the greatest threat is an already established player like Google-parent Alphabet.
The company has been layering a ride-sharing service on top of its existing Waze navigation app. The service, which amounts to a carpool platform, began in Tel Aviv, Israel and was recently expanded to San Francisco. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is now planning to expand the service to other U.S. cities and Latin America.

A Journal reporter just tested the service and interviewed Waze head Noam Bardin. The reporter got a ride from downtown Oakland to downtown San Francisco for $4.50. The same ride, the reporter notes, would have cost $10.57 via Uber and $12.40 via Lyft....MORE
Possibly also of interest:

Here's Google's Sidewalk Labs' Pitch To Insert Itself Into America’s Urban Transportation Infrastructure (GOOG)