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  • Today I wanted to -- well, this morning --

  • I want to talk about the future of human-driven transportation

  • about how we can cut congestion, pollution and parking

  • by getting more people into fewer cars

  • and how we can do it with the technology that's in our pockets

  • And yes, I'm talking about smartphones ...

  • not self-driving cars

  • But to get started we've got to go back over 100 years.

  • Because it turns out there was an Uber way before Uber.

  • And if it had survived,

  • the future of transportation would probably already be here.

  • So let me introduce you to the jitney.

  • In 1914 it was created or invented

  • by a guy named LP Draper.

  • He was a car salesman from LA, and he had an idea.

  • Well, he was cruising around downtown Los Angeles, my hometown,

  • and he saw trolleys with long lines of people

  • trying to get to where they wanted to go.

  • He said, well, why don't I just put a sign on my car

  • that takes people wherever they want to go

  • for a jitney -- that was slang for a nickel.

  • And so people jumped on board,

  • and not just in Los Angeles but across the country.

  • And within one year, by 1915,

  • there were 50,000 rides per day in Seattle,

  • 45,000 rides per day in Kansas

  • and 150,000 rides per day in Los Angeles.

  • To give you some perspective,

  • Uber in Los Angeles

  • is doing 157,000 rides per day,

  • today ... 100 years later

  • And so these are the trolley guys,

  • the existing transportation monopoly at the time.

  • They were clearly not happy about the jitney juggernaut.

  • And so they got to work

  • and they went to cities across the country

  • and got regulations put in place

  • to slow down the growth of the jitney.

  • And there were all kinds of regulations.

  • There were licenses -- often they were pricey.

  • In some cities, if you were a jitney driver,

  • you were required to be in the jitney for 16 hours a day.

  • In other cities, they required two jitney drivers for one jitney.

  • But there was a really interesting regulation

  • which was they had to put a backseat light --

  • install it in every Jitney --

  • to stop a new pernicious innovation which they called spooning.

  • All right. So what happened?

  • Well, within a year this thing had taken off.

  • But the jitney, by 1919,

  • was regulated completely out of existence.

  • That's unfortunate ...

  • because, well, when you can't share a car,

  • then you have to own one.

  • And car ownership skyrocketed

  • and it's no wonder that by 2007,

  • there was a car for every man, woman and child in the United States.

  • And that phenomenon had gone global.

  • In China by 2011,

  • there were more car sales happening in China than in the US.

  • Now, all this private ownership of course had a public cost.

  • In the US, we spend 7 billion hours a year,

  • wasted, sitting in traffic.

  • 160 billion dollars in lost productivity,

  • of course also sitting in traffic,

  • and one-fifth of all of our carbon footprint

  • is spewed out in the air by those cars that we're sitting in.

  • Now, that's only four percent of our problem though.

  • Because if you have to own a car

  • then that means 96 percent of the time your car is sitting idle.

  • And so, up to 30 percent of our land and our space

  • is used storing these hunks of steel.

  • We even have skyscrapers built for cars.

  • That's the world we live in today.

  • Now, cities have been dealing with this problem for decades.

  • It's called mass transit.

  • And even in a city like New York City,

  • one of the most densely populated in the world

  • and one of the most sophisticated tremendous mass transit systems in the world,

  • there are still 2.5 million cars

  • that go over those bridges every day.

  • Why is that?

  • Well, it's because mass transit

  • hasn't yet figured out how to get to everybody's doorstep.

  • And so back in San Francisco, where I live,

  • the situation's much worse, in fact,

  • much worse around the world.

  • And so the beginning of Uber in 2010 was --

  • well, we just wanted to push a button and get a ride.

  • We didn't have any grand ambitions.

  • But it just turned out that lots of people

  • wanted to push a button and get a ride,

  • and ultimately what we started to see

  • was a lot of duplicate rides.

  • We saw a lot of people pushing the same button

  • at the same time going essentially to the same place.

  • And so we started thinking about, well,

  • how do we make those two trips and turn them into one.

  • Because if we did,

  • that ride would be a lot cheaper

  • up to 50 percent cheaper

  • and of course for the city you've got

  • a lot more people and a lot fewer cars.

  • And so the big question for us was: would it work?

  • Could you have a cheaper ride

  • cheap enough that people would be willing to share it?

  • And the answer, fortunately, is a resounding yes.

  • In San Francisco, before uberPOOL, we had

  • -- well, everybody would take their car wherever the heck they wanted.

  • And the bright colors is where we have the most cars.

  • And once we introduced uberPOOL,

  • well, you see there's not as many bright colors.

  • More people getting around the city in fewer cars,

  • taking cars off the road.

  • It looks like uberPOOL is working.

  • And so we rolled it out in Los Angeles eight months ago.

  • And since then, we've taken 7.9 million miles off the roads

  • and we've taken 1.4 thousand metric tons of CO2 out of the air.

  • But the part that I'm really --

  • But my favorite statistic

  • remember, I'm from LA,

  • I spent years of my life

  • sitting behind the wheel,

  • going, "How do we fix this?"

  • my favorite part is that eight months later,

  • we have added 100,000 new people that are carpooling every week.

  • Now, in China everything is supersized,

  • and so we're doing 15 million uberPOOL trips per month,

  • that's 500,000 per day.

  • And of course we're seeing that exponential growth happen.

  • In fact, we're seeing it in LA, too.

  • And when I talk to my team,

  • we don't talk about,

  • "Hey, well, 100,000 people carpooling every week...

  • and we're done."

  • How do we get that to a million?

  • And in China,

  • well, that could be several million.

  • And so uberPOOL

  • is a very great solution for urban carpooling.

  • But what about the suburbs?

  • This is the street where I grew up in Los Angeles,

  • it's actually a suburb called Northridge, California,

  • and, well -- look, those mailboxes,

  • they kind of just go on forever.

  • And every morning at about the same time,

  • cars roll of out their driveway,

  • most of them, one person in the car,

  • and they go to work,

  • they go to their place of work.

  • So the question for us is:

  • well, how do we turn all of these commuter cars --

  • and literally there's tens of millions of them --

  • how do we turn all these commuter cars into shared cars?

  • Well, we have something for this that

  • we recently launched called uberCOMMUTE.

  • You get up in the morning,

  • get ready for work,

  • get your coffee,

  • go to your car and you light up the Uber app,

  • and all of a sudden,

  • you become an Uber driver.

  • And we'll match you up with one of your neighbors on your way to work

  • and it's a really great thing

  • There's just one hitch ... it's called regulation.

  • So 54 cents a mile, what is that?

  • Well, that is what the US government

  • has determined that the cost of owning a car is per mile.

  • You can pick up anybody in the United States

  • and take them wherever they want to go at a moment's notice,

  • for 54 cents a mile or less.

  • But if you charge 60 cents a mile,

  • you're a criminal.

  • But what if for 60 cents a mile

  • we could get half a million more people carpooling in Los Angeles?

  • And what if at 60 cents a mile

  • we could get 50 million people carpooling in the United States?

  • If we could, it's obviously something we should do.

  • And so it goes back to the lesson of the jitney.

  • If by 1915 this thing was taking off,

  • imagine without the regulations that happened,

  • if that thing could just keep going.

  • How would our cities be different today?

  • Would we have parks in the place of parking lots?

  • Well, we lost that chance.

  • But technology has given us another opportunity.

  • Now, I'm as excited as anybody else

  • about self-driving cars

  • but do we have to really wait

  • five, 10 or even 20 years to make our new cities a reality?

  • With the technology in our pockets today,

  • and a little smart regulation,

  • we can turn every car into a shared car,

  • and we can reclaim our cities starting today.

  • Thank you.

  • Travis, thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • You know --

  • I mean the company you've built

  • is absolutely astounding.

  • You only just talked about a small part of it here

  • a powerful part

  • the idea of turning cars into public transport like that,

  • it's cool.

  • But I've got a couple of questions

  • because I know they're out there on people's minds.

  • So first of all, last week I think it was,

  • I switched on my phone and tried to book an Uber

  • and I couldn't find the app.

  • You had this very radical, very bold, brave redesign.

  • Sure.

  • How did it go?

  • Did you notice other people not finding the app that day?

  • Are you going to win people over for this redesign?

  • Well, first I should probably just say,

  • well, what we were trying to accomplish.

  • And I think if you know a little bit about our history,

  • it makes a lot more sense.

  • Which is, when we first got started,

  • it was just black cars.

  • It was literally you push a button and get an S-Class.

  • And so what we did was almost what I would call

  • an immature version of a luxury brand

  • that looked like a badge on a luxury car.

  • And as we've gone worldwide

  • and gone from S-Classes to auto rickshaws in India,

  • it became something that was important for us to go

  • to be more accessible,

  • to be more hyperlocal,

  • to be about the cities we were in

  • and that's what you see with the patterns and colors.

  • And to be more iconic,

  • because a U doesn't mean anything in Sanskrit,

  • and a U doesn't mean anything in Mandarin.

  • And so that was a little bit what it was about.

  • Now, when you first roll out something like that,

  • I mean, your hands are sweating, you've got --

  • you know, you're a little worried.

  • What we saw is a lot of people --

  • actually, at the beginning,

  • we saw a lot more people opening the app

  • because they were curious what they would find

  • when they opened it.

  • And our numbers were

  • slightly up from what we expected.

  • OK, that's cool.

  • Now, so you, yourself,