Uber: We want transportation be as reliable as running water

September 17th, 2015 | by Aaron Tan
Uber: We want transportation be as reliable as running water

Much of Uber’s success is credited to its ability to provide reliable and affordable rides, according to Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of the ride-sharing giant.

In a rare interview with Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff at the annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Kalanick said the company will do whatever it takes from a technology and operations perspective to ensure customers are picked up within five minutes, and can get to their destinations safely.

“We want transportation to be as reliable as running water for everyone, in every city in the world. That’s really what matters most, because when you think about where we came from (San Francisco), it was hard to get a taxi before Uber,” he said.

To provide riders with a reliable service, Kalanick said Uber will continue to get more drivers to sign on to the Uber platform. It also hopes to streamline the onboarding process for drivers, and will make sure that only the highest-rated drivers remain in the Uber platform over time.

Kalanick revealed that Uber also tries to anticipate demand for its service through a combination of real-time and “long-form” predictions.

“We can predict how much demand there’s going to be in a neighbourhood in the next 15 minutes. If we think there’s more demand than supply we can handle, we’ll see how we can get more cars into that neighbourhood before the 15 minutes is up,” he said.”So, in the driver’s app, there’s a heat map that shows where the demand is going to be, not just where the demand is.”

As for “long-term” predictions, Kalanick says Uber will also cater to the increase in demand for ride-sharing services during large events such as Dreamforce.

With thousands of Uber rides taken per minute, Kalanick hopes that traveling with Uber will eventually be cheaper than owning a car, and that every car on the road would be an Uber car.

“If every car in San Francisco was Ubered, there’d be no traffic,” he said.

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