Economic Outlook

Waymo vs Uber/Lyft – How Much?


Trent Disruptors Car

As of right now GOOGLE / WAYMO has begun monetizing some of their self driving vehicles.  Development of WAYMO self driving vehicles has been ongoing for over 10 years, and includes cars and trucks, as each is seen to have commercial potential.  In four suburbs of Phoenix Arizona (about a 160 km zone) self driving WAYMO ONE taxis are now in operation.  Generating revenue after all these years of development and testing is a significant milestone, and puts WAYMO ahead of rivals like GM’s Cruise Automation, and Uber Technologies.  All players in this field will certainly want to attract and keep customers and begin to recoup the money invested in the technology so far.

So, how does a customer use the WAYMO ONE taxi service?  First, you need to download the WAYMO ONE app and provide credit card details, and then you can use the app to notify the service of your needs, providing your location and a destination.  Much like UBER and LYFT, the app will provide a price quote and a time for pick-up.  The service is touted to be operating 24 hours a day, however, it is available now only to a few hundred residents who signed up last year, and the exact number of taxis in operation has not been revealed by WAYMO.  For cost comparison, the WAYMO charge for a 15 minute ride (about 3 miles) is $7.60, whereas the comparable LYFT charge is $7.20.

At this time WAYMO ONE taxis include a human in the driver’s seat, to intervene only in emergencies, and there is the app or in-car console to link passengers to a WAYMO ONE agent for answering questions and documenting comments.  Some report that the ride is a little slow and sometimes jerky.  WAYMO works with passenger feedback to help refine all aspects of the WAYMO ONE taxi experience.  Only a handful of other startups have monetized driverless technology, in small ways, such as Boston’s OPTIMUS RIDE that has contracts to provide driverless vehicle services in enclosed, low speed environments, like gated business parks and seniors facilities.

There are still significant challenges to making a buck in the autonomous vehicle space.  All across the USA there are many laws and regulations that fail to provide a coherent framework for designing the vehicles or the software applications needed to put them to work on their own.  Estimates are that over $1 billion has been spent on driverless technology, and over 10 million miles have been traveled.  Still, everyone is proceeding with great caution, wanting to ensure that the early adopters have only safe and satisfying experiences, generating enthusiasm, curiosity, and confidence.  Given all that, the sky seems to be the limit for this exciting, disruptive technology.

Let Trend Disruptors be your guide to the future, as we continue to identify technology investment opportunities that can lead to financial success.  Click here to read more Trend Disruptor blogs.


Those “Not In Labor Force” Will Surge Over The Next Decade


There are presently about 96 million Americans whom are 16+ years old and considered to be “not in the labor force” (those neither working nor actively looking for work).  Those “not in labor force” has increased by over 17 million since 2008, while those employed has increased by 11 million, and those employed full time has increased by nearly 8 million.  But these will be remembered as the good times compared to what is coming…. CLICK for complete article

Atlas Engineered Products Has a Big Vision for Growing the Company

 Atlas Engineered Products (CVE:AEP) newly appointed CEO Dirk Maritz joined Steve Darling from Proactive Investors with news Atlas has now closed its acquisition of Tandelle-Pacer, that was announced a few months ago. According to Maritz, this puts AEP in a new ballpark and fits perfectly in to his vision for the company going forward. Maritz also shared more of his vision and if the company is looking to acquire any more assets.

Dirk - Atlas

Mall Retailers Melt Down in Four Charts


Total retail sales growth – not adjusted for inflation – has been fairly strong, rising 4.6% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, powered by booming e-commerce sales, which the Commerce Department reported this morning, and by rising inflation. But “real” retail sales (adjusted for inflation) are not so hot, rising only 2.0% in October, and this was at the lower end of the post-Financial Crisis range…. CLICK for complete article

Everything We Know About The California Fires


PG&E Corporation stock plunged Monday after a 12-percent drop Friday as investors grow increasingly concerned about the financial impact of the California wildfires. Although there is no evidence as of yet that the Camp Fire, the Hill Fire or the Woolsey Fire were caused by faulty infrastructure, Height Capital Markets analyst Clayton Allen said a pair of California utility stocks are potentially facing major liability risks…. CLICK for complete article

Amazon’s Tale Of Two Cities


After a year of speculation over the location of Amazon’s second headquarters, new information suggests e-commerce giant has made a decision

After a year of heated speculation and even more intense lobbying by a number of cities in the running to host Amazon’s second headquarters, reports emerge that the e-commerce giant is now going to split up its HQ2…. CLICK for complete article