Uber has acquired Otto, a player in self-driving technology. Otto builds off-the-shelf self-driving kits that can potentially be retrofitted in existing vehicles.
If the technology matures to level 5 autonomy (driverless, i.e., no human intervention required) — currently under test — Uber can sell the kits to existing car owners.
For the vehicle owners, the car can generate income than being idle in the parking lots while Uber can achieve scale and manage supply-demand efficiently. Above all, this will ensure Uber’s LEAN operations!!
Clearly a wake-up call for OEMs to re-evaluate their strategy of offering ride-sharing services.