24 Jan Anaylsis: What Happens If FarePilot Move into Ride-Hailing
Analysis by Fareed Baloch, Chief Operating Officer of zoom.taxi
News that the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary FarePilot have applied for a private hire license with Transport for London will have spread like wildfire around the industry, particularly for the big multinational companies seeking to dominate the market.
It is not yet clear if FarePilot will actually launch a ride-hailing app or if they are just looking at the possibilities, particularly with TfL’s decision to revoke Uber’s license over safety and operating concerns.
So far FarePilot are just an add on service for Uber/ Lyft/ MyTaxi drivers to navigate them to the high demand areas to get more trips. This feature is already available on apps like Uber, commonly known as ‘heat maps’.
I cannot see why a driver will run two separate apps when they can see high demand areas on their existing app, which should be more reliable due to scale of big data these other companies possess.
If they aim to be supply side, i.e driver aggregators, it will be even a bigger challenge to pool the drivers and data sets from fierce rival companies.
If they launch a ride share app like Uber, it could be good for the consumers and competition however I fear the market may end up being oligopolistic with no real competition and smaller companies being pushed out of the market.
However, I do feel that local taxi firms will have better chances to compete mainly due to the fact that Uber will not be the sole market player, particularly if they embrace 21st century technology like the zoom app which gives them even better technology than Uber with the local link to their customers.