Uber plans to replace cab drivers with self-driving cars

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The Independent Tech

A day after Google unveiled its prototype for a driverless car, cab app company Uber has revealed plans to one day replace its fleet with self-driving vehicles.

Speaking at the Code Conference, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick explained that the new technology could help drive down costs.

"The reason Uber could be expensive is because you're not just paying for the car — you're paying for the other dude in the car," Kalanick said.

"When there's no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away."

Uber and other similar apps have made a huge impact on London's cab industry, streamlining the process of booking and paying for taxis.

Kalanick said Uber going driverless is still a long way off but inevitable, and when asked what he would tell the company's drivers, replied: "I'd say 'Look, this is the way of the world, and the world isn't always great.' We all have to find ways to change with the world."

Uber is rumored to be raising funds at a valuation of $17 billion, and has plans to pre-load the app on 50 million Android phones in the US.

Read more: London cab apps: 5 geo-locating taxi services from Addison Lee to Uber