Uber vs Tesla: the battle heats up
It’s becoming increasingly important for TSLA investors to understand and acknowledge Uber as a competitor. Both companies are betting their future on autonomous driving and both companies are focused on disrupting transportation, not just personal transportation but also trucking. Further, both companies have sharp and ambitious CEOs driving their companies to bold goals.
This past week Uber announced a pilot program of 100 semi self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh. Part of me wonders if Uber is feeling threatened by Tesla’s aggressive push toward self-driving cars, and as a result is responding by taking bold risks in deploying their own driver-assist technology. Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, acknowledged last week that building an autonomous car “is basically existential for us.” In other words, Uber needs the best autonomous tech in order to stay the leader in not just the ride-hailing market but also the other markets that they are entering (ie., delivering of goods and services).
Uber also announced that they acquired Otto, a SF-based company trying to enable self-driving trucks. Coincidentally (or not), the timing is around when Elon Musk shared in his updated master plan how Tesla is developing a truck trailer prototype. Both companies are, in my view, eyeing the global transportation and logistics market totaling almost $5 trillion. The market is so large, the company that successfully disrupts global logistics and takes a dominant market share has the opportunity to become the world’s most valuable company.
As the Uber vs Tesla battle heats up, keep your eyes out on Uber trying to catch up to Tesla with autonomous driving technology. And look out for Tesla to start laying the foundation to move people and goods from point A to B with the combination of autonomous electric vehicles, supercharging and/or swap stations, trucks and minibuses, and ride-sharing.
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