The future of the taxi - who owns mobility?
Uber has opened the door to new entrants, and we are seeing a diverse group of companies developing strategies to enter the sector, ranging from car manufacturers, through technology companies to car rental firms. With autonomous vehicles likely to be deployed as taxis as an early initiative, are these companies better equipped for the future than the traditional private hire operator? What can the established operators do to ensure they still play a leading role in the future?
The regulatory minefield – are we being served?
The industry is under pressure – not least from tighter regulations. New entrants are changing the game, and regulators are struggling to keep on top of things. Controversy surrounds TfL’s new licensing fee structure, while pressure to clean up air quality is resulting in some poor decisions regarding mandatory future vehicle choices. Is the industry doing enough to make its voice heard, and can we come up with more sensible ideas?
Technology and the role of the driver
App technology has been the biggest game-changer in the taxi industry, and it’s unfortunate that the leading user has used it as a way of leading a race to the bottom in terms of service costs and quality. How can advanced technology – including the rise of AVs – co-exist with a service-driven ethos that is centred around the driver?
The employment conundrum – who works for who?
Employment law – Are your drivers workers, self-employed or employees? What should you do to ensure you are complying with the law? And what should you do about drivers who work for multiple employers? If these drivers are workers, who is responsible for paying their sick pay and holiday pay?