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Uber CEO: Self-Driving Cars Are the Future, Drivers Are Not

Tough luck, humans.

Asa Mathat
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Self-driving cars are coming and, when they do, Uber drivers are simply out of luck, the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick said Wednesday at the inaugural Code Conference.

“‘Look, this is the way the world is going,'” Kalanick said would be his explanation to Uber drivers who might lose their jobs down the road. “If Uber doesn’t go there, it’s not going to exist either way,” he said.

“The world isn’t always great,” he added.

Kalanick made a point of saying that he doesn’t envision self-driving cars getting on the road in a meaningful way anytime soon. But he made clear that when that day comes, the upside of Uber using them will be greater than the downside of having to let drivers go. What are the upsides? Less congestion, fewer accidents and a cheaper option than owning a car, Kalanick claims.

“It’s not technology for technology’s sake,” he said. “There’s real advancements for how cities work.”

Update: In a tweet after his appearance, Kalanick added a little more context to his thoughts on the topic, explaining that he thinks the transition to driverless cars is a decades-long process.

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