Google’s Schmidt interviews Uber’s Kalanick: “Ownership is a Massive Inefficiency”

Kalanick speaking at the Le Web conference in December 2013.Kalanick speaking at the Le Web conference in December 2013.

Gregory Ferenstein via Business Insider:

In a rare and far-ranging interview, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt sat down with each other to discuss their vision for the future of transportation. At the Summit At Sea gathering in Miami last Friday, Schmidt interviewed Kalanick about the endgame for Uber, taxi regulations, transitioning workers after driverless cars, and Uber’s most bizarre tales.

I’ve summarized the highlights of the talk in 5 quotes (note: Google is an investor in Uber):

On taxi union and medallions

“Whoever bought that medallion basically is buying into a corrupt system that’s bad for society” — Travis Kalanick

In no uncertain terms, Kalanick called the taxi medallion system, which regulates the number of cars on the road, a corrupt and inefficient regulation. While acknowledging the unfortunate fact that many taxi drivers had to sacrifice a lot of time and money to the medallion system, Kalanick argued that propping up a bad system wasn’t worth perpetuating. Ultimately, he said that the medallion system keeps drivers tethered to low-paying and inflexible jobs. “That system must be taken down,” he concluded.

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