Autocab have thrown ride-hailing firm Uber a lifeline just as several significant court cases are about to conclude says rival taxi technology firm founder.
The comments follow the announcement that ride-hailing firm Uber had entered into an agreement to buy technology company Autocab.
In an open letter made to customers, Gavan Walsh, iCabbie CEO and Founder, shared his thoughts on the deal and the implications it may have on the taxi and private hire industry.
Walsh wrote: “Autocab customers are being baited with the short-term promise of additional bookings, but taking this bait ultimately hands power over to Uber and strengthens their hand as they continue in their efforts to bring about the demise of the independent taxi industry.”
Walsh went on to add: “Just now, as a number of significant court cases that could signal Uber’s withdrawal from the UK are about to conclude, Autocab throws them a life-line.”
Further on in the letter it was claimed that Uber cared only for three things from the deal announced last week: “Data, demand and drivers”. Walsh also suggested that taxi operators will be “surplus to requirements“ and that the new Autocab set-up will allow Uber to “penetrate regions that have thus far rejected them due to well founded concerns over the companies operating practices”.
“Asking taxi operators to accept bookings from their dispatch provider (Uber) is therefore nothing short of asking them to hammer the nail in their own coffin. Rather than being their partner, the tech provider in this scenario becomes their competitor,” wrote Walsh.
Walsh also poured cold water on rumours within the industry that more technology companies are about to follow suit and sell to other rideshare companies. In the open letter it was confirmed that iCabbi plan to carry on their strategy alongside French car manufactures Renault. In June 2018, iCabbi made the announcement that they had entered a strategic partnership with Groupe Renault. The aim of the partnership has been to spearhead the electrification of the taxi and private hire industry.