Cab9 has always respected the success of Autocab - specifically their client relationships as Autocab customers are by in large loyal and have always supported the growth of the platform.
This is our first blog post and we felt it appropriate to break our silence on the disappointing news that Uber have acquired Autocab. But before we share our thoughts, let’s get our vested interest out in the open so this blog can be taken as a serious opinion on a tragic event that continues to erode the private hire industry.
A few years ago, we created a product called Cab9 which was born from our passion to provide private hire operators with the technology to win, retain and grow their customer base in the changing marketplace being driven by app providers. Today, we have 120+ customers in the UK market using our software and dispatching vehicles with compliance to ensure passenger safety comes first.
Whilst doing our market assessment in 2016, before building our product, we identified that the inferior technical capabilities, poor aesthetics and the lack of intuitiveness provided by software platforms out there has left the private hire and taxi operators exposed to be challenged by Uber’s easy to use suite of products. We firmly believe Autocab is one of those platforms. Nevertheless, even while talking to the Autocab customers, we have always refrained from capitalising on negativity as we have all had a common goal of letting this industry thrive. But not today. All the years spent fighting for our businesses and livelihoods has come down to this.
The news that Autocab has been sold to Uber is like ‘someone letting the fox into the henhouse’. This deal can only lead to further devastation in the private hire industry, starting with Autocab customers. The private hire industry must stand together more than ever before in order to exist and sustain, globally. Autocab’s decision to sell out to Uber whose strategy is direct to driver and ambition is to operate driverless cars is very surprising given that without the private hire operators and drivers, there isn’t much of an industry really.
Competition is always good. It’s good for market dynamics and consumers. Big money taking over an industry putting thousands of people out of work and millions of passengers at risk of safety is NOT good.
This news means our responsibilities as a dispatch software provider are even greater now and we need to simply double down on our development investment in Cab9. With that in mind, we are also launching work share on Cab9 today, ahead of our planned release date of 20th of August.
The way passengers consume private and business mobility is changing. With the global taxi apps disrupting the industry, it is imperative for operators to adapt quickly and decisively to meet the challenge this presents. At Cab9, we will continue to empower our clients with an innovative solution that allows them to offer an experience tantamount to the likes of multinationals and create for them a fair opportunity to compete in their local consumer and business market.