But what if the thing ride-sharing companies are promising can’t be delivered, or at least not fast enough to keep afloat?
The autonomous vehicle marketplace is also very crowded. Over 60 companies have been given permits in California to test autonomous vehicles. The latest news reports are now predicting that automated taxis won’t be available until 2025, and it will be a decade until consumers can purchase their very own driverless vehicles.
Regulations will create additional hurdles and public perception of fatal accidents. Last year an Uber autonomous vehicle killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona. As more autonomous cars grace the roads, more accidents are inevitable — and the question looms of how much the public will tolerate.
None of these factors are exactly new, but now that ride-sharing companies are public, there is increased scrutiny. The appetite for quarter after quarter losses may be coming to an end. But if investors are patient with Uber and Lyft and place the kind of faith in them that the markets placed in Jeff Bezos more than 20 years ago, they may yet see a return.