Uber’s board of directors is currently contemplating a three-month leave of absence for embattled CEO Travis Kalanick, according to The New York Times.
If this occurs, there’s a possibility his responsibilities will be scaled back when he returns. What’s more, Emil Micheal, one of Kalanick’s top lieutenants, is leaving the company entirely, according to Recode. The board hasn’t specified when a decision would be made as to Kalanick’s future, or who might replace him. The shakeup occurs against the backdrop of a review of Uber’s corporate culture led by former US Attorney General Eric Holder.
New leadership, even if temporary, could lead Uber to seek out self-driving partnerships, accelerating the progress of its self-driving technologies. Here’s how:
- Uber hasn’t collaborated much in the self-driving space, and that’s limited their cars’ technological progress. Unlike many other prominent players in the self-driving car market, Uber hasn’t agreed to any partnerships to develop or test self-driving cars. That could be because of the company’s history — since it scaled so quickly, it might feel it doesn’t need others to do the same in the self-driving space. But that’s likely hurt the technological progress of its self-driving cars, which still need to be taken over by a driver more often than those from rival Waymo.
- New leaders could change course, accelerating Uber’s technological progress and allowing it to get its cars on the road faster. Change at the top could result in a different approach that embraces partnerships, which have become a proven method to get self-driving cars on the road faster. If it went this route, Uber could gain a crucial early-mover advantage in a market that’ll be large — BI Intelligence forecasts that 2.1 million fully autonomous cars will be on US roads in 2025.
The self-driving car is no longer a futuristic fantasy. Consumers can already buy vehicles that, within a few years time, will get software updates enabling them to hit the road without the need for a driver.
This autonomous revolution will upend the automotive sector and disrupt huge swaths of the economy, while radically improving energy efficiency and changing the way people approach transport around the world.
Automakers and tech companies are racing to develop the technology that will power self-driving cars in the coming years. That tech is advancing, but leaves observers with a bigger question: will consumers trust driverless car tech, and will they want to use autonomous cars?
Peter Newman, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on self-driving cars that analyzes the market, and forecasts vehicle shipments and market penetration. It also profiles the players expected to take on a prominent role in the autonomous future, examines the barriers to autonomous car development and adoption, and reviews developments in technology, regulation, and consumer sentiment. Finally, it analyzes the impact the introduction of autonomy will have on various industries and transport trends.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Self-driving cars are coming; there will be fully autonomous cars on the roads in the US in 2018, and adoption will just take off from there.
- The technology is developing swiftly to allow fully self-driving vehicles, while the regulatory environment is adapting to the anticipated changes that this new technology will bring.
- We conducted a survey asking our exclusive BI Insiders panel about their thoughts on self-driving cars, the future of the automotive industry, and the impact autonomous vehicles will have on their purchasing habits moving forward. The results provide a picture of consumer sentiment at the precipice of the autonomous era.
In full, the report:
- Sizes the current and future self-driving car market, forecasting shipments and projecting installed base.
- Explains the current state of technology, regulation, and consumer perception.
- Analyzes how the development of autonomous cars will impact employment and the economy.
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