Uber support in UK capital, London, on the wane – a blow for the environment and self driving?

The ride hailing app is facing opposition in the the UK’s capital London. Uber, the service enjoyed by millions – including myself which is bringing transportation into the 21st century is under attack, not from the Luddite taxi community and their supporters, but from TfL (Transport for London). A new court hearing coming up could spell the death knell for Uber in London, which is one of its leading and lucrative markets.

The controversy stems from whether the 18,000 drivers in London are breaking the law when picking up their ‘fare’. The legal wrangles relate to the use of a meter – Black cabs (the traditional government sanctioned taxi’s) are legislated with regard to their metering, having a specific tariff, however Uber could also be described as having its own metering system as the ride sharing app knows where it is and hence can compute the price.

The real reason London wants Uber Banned

I don’t think there are many consumers who welcome the stranglehold of Black Can drivers on the marketplace. Their expensive prices, uncomfortable cabins and challenging service means, I never take one. Their slit-throat pricing means cabs are out of reach for the majority of people unless they are rich.

The reason that TfL have gotten cold feet over innovation is the tax revenue

I’m going to say it – its TAX. The reason that TfL have gotten cold feet over innovation is the tax scenario. They simply don’t want all that taxable revenue going to a US based company where they cannot get their hands on it easily.

The other reason is likely the voters that the want to maintain are Black Cab drivers so for some reason the head of the government has decided it must do more for the drivers.

London needs transport innovation and evolution

Attacking Uber is like attacking the computer or the internet for helping us be more efficient in our lives. Fact is, London needs a more effective way of getting a taxi and standing by the side of the road in the freezing rain for half an hour is not one of them.

Uber lets users dictate their needs and lets drivers decide if it works for them – no more “I’m not going down that way” responses from black cab drivers if it doesn’t suit them.

Taxi drivers must adapt to their 21st century environment

horsecartBlack cab drivers must accept their days are numbered. Much the same as many jobs that existed in the past do not exist today. They can drive if they want, working as drivers around the streets of London, but technology has meant that their skills are redundant. Much the same as flint knappers (making primitive tools out of stone), the job has changed and Cab drivers must learn to adapt, the consumer appeal of ease of use and lower price means that it’s going to happen – better to adapt and get on with it instead of flogging a dead horse.

Cab drivers must learn to adapt

I’ve had to re-invent my career numerous times, no-one has come to my aid and allowed me to have a stranglehold on the market place and allow me a monopoly on the type of work I do and protect my income.

Luddite’s trying to throw a spanner into the machine of innovation.

Iconic Black London Cabs

Some might fear the loss of these London Icons – but for me, their time is up. Just like I don’t mourn the loss of being able to walk down the high street and find a pinball machine to play in an arcade. TfL should cease having a rose tinted view of history and live in the present. There are better more efficient ways to live today and that means technology can dramatically improve the lives of millions in the UK’s capital and not to help them would be a real tragedy and in a few years time, people will see this attempt as nothing but the Luddite’s trying to throw a spanner into the machine of innovation.

The EV and Uber, why Uber will help the environment

The black cab relies on the diesel engine. You know, that horrible engine that kicks out a tonne of particulate matter – the sort of stuff that kills people. No I’m not being facetious,  the small particulate matter literally gets stuck in people’s lungs. Petrol is much much cleaner. VW didn’t have problems trying to pass the legislation for petrol, but it did for diesel.

So every Black can uses diesel, so that means that any shift away from the ubiquitous black cab can only be better. Reduce diesel from 100% to even 90% if a small number of Uber drivers use petrol and you have a cleaner environment. Now, I hope as EV picks up momentum, some of these Uber cars will be electric powered. You see the choice of car is democratic, the driver can decide on the economics and doesn’t need some kind of government dictat to usher in a new type of black cab. The market is responsive right now and can respond as new vehicles drive down the environmental impact and cost for the driver.

Self driving and Uber