Why Uber will win the taxi wars

European legislators are no match for the march of progress, claims French Digital Champion

The war between Uber and taxi drivers across Europe may be ongoing, but the outcome is a fait accompli, according to France's digital champion, Gilles Babinet.

Babinet, himself a serial entrepreneur, told delegates at the Hack4Europe conference in Paris: "Think about this: an average taxi is in commercial usage 45 per cent of its time, which means that 55 per cent is just waiting for a client."

"Do you know how much is the ratio of usage for an Uber car? It's 85 per cent and just because of this they are going to win. Whatever we do, whatever the regulations we try to put in place, just because it is hugely efficient. It cannot be beaten by any type of regulation," he said.

Uber is currently mired in controversy in France, with the company's two top executives having been arrested and charged with misleading commercial practices, complicity in the illegal operation of taxis, and illegal handling of data on Monday this week. 202 Uber drivers were fined the following day, with 79 cases still pending.

Amid the furore, Uber France has temporarily suspended UberPOP - the service at the centre of the dispute between the company and the country, which connects users with drivers who charge for rides but are unlicensed and untrained - in order to protect drivers and their vehicles from alleged attacks by taxi drivers.

Nevertheless, Uber was well represented at the event, which was the culmination of a Europe-wide hackathon to build new apps in the categories of Smart Cities, E-commerce, Mobility, Social Positive (having a benefit for society at its heart as well as commerce), Internet of Things, and Energy.

The Mobility award was sponsored by Uber and the winning app built on the company's API. Thibauld Simphal, MD of Uber in France and one of those charged on Monday, was also a panellist at the event speaking on the topic of "How to create European GAFAs" alongside representatives of ride-sharing app Blablacar, Alcatel OneTouch, and Iris Capital Management.

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Recommended

Hybrid cloud complexity fuelling appetite for automation, says Puppet CTO
automation

Hybrid cloud complexity fuelling appetite for automation, says Puppet CTO

23 Oct 2020
Uber wins license to operate in London after ‘plugging IT gaps’
Policy & legislation

Uber wins license to operate in London after ‘plugging IT gaps’

28 Sep 2020
Uber claims it makes London "safer" in TfL licence battle
Policy & legislation

Uber claims it makes London "safer" in TfL licence battle

16 Sep 2020
Former Uber CSO charged for data breach cover-up
hacking

Former Uber CSO charged for data breach cover-up

21 Aug 2020

Most Popular

150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database
data management

150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database

15 Jan 2021
How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?
web hosting

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?

12 Jan 2021