Fylde Executive Cars Blog

UBER Autonomous vehicles - Is the UK ready to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs?

The Rise of the Taxi Software House UBER – Could spell the end of the Taxi Driver Job market

Are Independent UBER Taxi Drivers Sleepwalking to redundancy?

The Private Hire and Hackney Industry currently officially employ’s almost 250,000 people across the UK. Here in the North West of England where Fylde Executive Cars and FEC Private Hire operate almost 32,700 licensed vehicles provide a living for countless drivers and their families.  So that is why I find it amazing that so many drivers are turning their backs on the long established Licensed Taxi Operators to take their chances with a Dutch based Software company UBER, that has absolutely no interest in their earnings, future or the standard of service that they operate.  This is made even more astonishing when you take a real interest in UBER’s business plans for the very near future

You don’t have to research to hard to see that testing of the driverless car is moving apace. Using  u the travel data gained from the journeys undertaken in by UBER’s current Human Taxi driving fleet and merging that with software such a Google maps it won’ be long before UBER starts consigning those whom have helped develop the Software House brand being consigned to the Unemployment Line or early retirement!

In 2016 serious enquiries and pre orders were lined up for Taxi and Executive level cars that are to be fitted with the “Driverless technology”  one report has hinted at 100,000 unmanned S-Classes taking to the streets of Capitals across the World – Chauffeurs in London would be one of the first to be affected.

So, with so much at stake, when job markets are unstable and the Worlds economies rocky at best, do Governments, Local Authorities, Taxi Drivers and their customers alike, allow the process of replacing Tens of Thousands of Human Beings employment with Robot’s?  Surely every UBER driver and client understands the ultimate goal of the company they work for or buy services from?  After a little research myself, speaking with the UBER driver and client alike – almost all were unaware of the “Final Solution” policy of UBER.  It’s nothing new Amazon and Google are also at it – “how can we remove Humans from the process of making profit” – Automate, Automate” sounds very much like a Darlek’s Battle cry.  The more worrying consideration is what will the 250,000 taxi and Private Hire Drivers and the estimated additional jobs affected by those who work in the Taxi back offices, The mechanics, insurance companies, the loss of licensing revenues for Town Halls.
The other significant loss to the UK economy will also be the loss of Tax Revenue.  When you book your UBER Taxi the Fare is going off shore in the first instance, the second impact is perhaps more local as the UBER Taxi driver will probably not come from your local community?  He will be just passing through, hovering up whatever work he can, before moving on to other waters.  So again by using the offshore Taxi App the money you spend is lost to the local business area.  I suppose the affect of UBER to the Taxi Industry will be similar to the devastation of our local High Streets across the UK as a result of on-line shopping.  We all want our high street shops, they are the heart of every community, but we are all playing our part in its demise.

For the Taxi user what do you get when you telephone your local taxi provider?  What separates what we do at FEC Private Hire, to what UBER provides?  We have also introduced a state of the art App from which you can book, track and pay for your Taxi hire when travelling within Lytham St Annes, but we, as with others offer much more than an automated booking and driverless taxi service ever could.

For a start we recruit local people, helping keep people in work, local people who will spend their hard earned wages in the local shops, restaurants and bars.
Our drivers are interviewed and undergo CRB checks.  Our ability to meet face to face with our drivers ensures we build relationships with them and can train and monitor their level of service on a daily basis.

We can check the safety of our fleet of Taxis and Chauffeur Cars and insist on additional safety features within the car for the benefit of our clients.

What can we also offer, that an Autonomous UBER Taxi cannot?  I driver that can assist with the carrying of shopping bags to the Taxi, a Chauffeur that can meet and greet, load your cases.  A Human being can hold a conversation and act as tour guide.  For many elderly Taxi users the weekly trip to the Supermarket will be the only time they get to have a good chat with someone and trusting relationships are formed over the years.  Late at night the Single Female Traveller can seek out a familiar firm, our drivers ensure that they watch their client to her door from the car, making sure she gets into the house safely.

There is a lot on offer for the consumer now, most of it available at the quick tap on an App. Sadly the impact on the small shop on the local high street in Lytham St Annes or anywhere else in the UK is often not considered – as is the case when making a simple Taxi ride.

Most Taxi operations in the United Kingdom have been established for many decades, FEC for 30 years, operating high end Chauffeur driven services as well as Airport Shuttle services  to Manchester, Liverpool John Lennon and other UK Airports – The Software APP which is UBER established in 2008, only really taking off in the past few years is as big a threat to the employment of UK Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs as the rise of Amazon has been to the High Street – sadly the consequences for the Chauffeur, Private Hire and Taxi industries could be swifter and more devastating to the UK job market.

There is no doubt that Fylde Executive Cars and FEC Private Hire our Lytham based Taxi Division need to adapt to the new world of travel and ensure that our technology and staff are up to task to meet the changing needs of the UK Traveller.  Our new Free FEC Private Hire Smartphone APP should give our local clients in Lytham and St Annes on Sea as well as in Preston North the benefits of booking and paying via an APP whilst at the same time upgrading web based solutions for our Corporate Chauffeur clients to meet their needs as Fylde Executive Cars expands its Chauffeur driven car hire services across the UK and into key Capital Cities is Europe through our partnership programmes.

It is without doubt that Business to Business relationships need to be developed and cherished, at the same time human input as the “friendly, helpful voice at the end of the telephone line” retained, alongside the “understanding, discreet ear” of the Chauffeur on that long business journey – all things that surely can’t be achieved by a Software House operating in the Service Industry?  For Fylde Executive Cars it is a threat we need to acknowledge and adapt to.

For those whom choose to earn their living being a UBER Software Driver  - the end game is already written for you, it’s simply a matter of time, until the autonomous car replaces you – the risk is, as seen in the recent fate of the High Street Independent Shop, when UBER let’s you go – will there be a traditional and established Chauffeur or Taxi service provider in your home town for you to transfer back to?  We’ve lost the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker, will the taxi driver be next?

To all those consumers of Chauffeur, Taxi and Airport Transfer services choice will be the same, do you wish to retain your local providers and keep the income earned from your personal or business travel, being spent in the local community or going offshore to UBER as with recent high profile tax evasion cases from some of our other more noticeable high street Coffee suppliers!  

We live in a time full of choices ......................................... but do we all fully understand the implications of them?

Sources

UK Government Department of Transport – 2015 figures for the Taxi & Private Hire Industry.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456733/taxi-private-hire-vehicles-statistics-2015.pdf

UBER Tests the Driverless Car – the days of the Independent UBER Taxi Driver are numbered!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/14/watch-uber-launches-driverless-car-service/

UBER Looking to place a large executive car order – no drivers to pay, so why not!

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/news/a28508/uber-orders-100000-mercedes-benz-s-class-sedans-report/

Are Driverless Cars ready to take to the Roads of the United Kingdom?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39397211

 

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