Uber boss wants to target pensioners and become more active in rural areas as he fears company is seen as for millennials only
- Uber chief executive predicts app will be soon used by pensioners in rural areas
- Dara Khosrowshahi says pensioners going to and from care homes will use Uber
- He said in exclusive interview with the Mail that having a car would be obsolete
- Uber boss said cars will be similar to horse riding – popular with the super-rich
Taxi app Uber will expand into rural areas and try to be more OAP-friendly, says the company’s boss.
Calling an Uber on your phone is seen as something urban millennials do.
But its chief executive predicts that the app will be used by pensioners going to and from care homes in rural areas before long.
In an exclusive interview with the Mail, Dara Khosrowshahi also claimed car ownership would soon become obsolete, with only the super rich and ‘elite’ bothering to own and drive their own vehicles.
Having a car would be similar to riding a horse, he claimed, popular with the ‘curious minded’ or those ‘who can afford it’.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi takes part in a discussion during an event of The Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday
Pressed on how the app could attract older people, Mr Khosrowshahi said: ‘We simplify the service and make sure that it’s friendly not only to the newer generations but the older generations as well.
‘Making sure that transportation is accessible for more rural life in an affordable way is increasingly an issue… our business is growing beyond the city core.’
Within ‘10 to 15 years’, he believes, ‘we just don’t think car ownership is going to be a goal any more. Maybe for the elite, but not for the masses.
There are still people who own horses and there will be some people who own cars but it will be few and far between.’
British black cab drivers have vehemently opposed Uber and taken to the streets in protest, blaming the Silicon Valley giant for ruining their livelihoods.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, at the Uber Elevate Summit 2019 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Wednesday
But Mr Khosrowshahi, 50, warned everyone will be using an app to book taxis eventually and urged them to work with Uber.
‘The message would be, we run an open platform and we’d love to partner up with you,’ he said.
His comments came just hours after the company unveiled its UberAir flying taxis, which it predicts will be flying over congested roads by 2023 for a price eventually comparable to a cab ride.
‘We will do our best to make sure that UberAir appears in London in the 2020s,’ he said. ‘But we will have to have lots of discussions with regulatory bodies.’
When the Iranian-born boss took over in 2017, Uber was dogged by controversies. Founder Travis Kalanick, 42, had been ousted amid allegations of sexism, bullying and flouting safety rules.
Mr Khosrowshahi, formerly head of travel website Expedia, has been credited with turning things around.