This article was published for The Economist Group. We have published an excerpt here.
In Earth’s hottest year on record, Uber was hot. The ride-sourcing company is currently valued at between $60b and $70b up from $18b in June 2014. Lyft, its main competitor in the US, grew from a valuation of around $1b to $4b to $4.5b in that time.
Helping to drive this massive growth is the data these companies collect, and their data on private passenger vehicle transportation are bigger and more detailed than any such information routinely collected before. Experts believe that this will shed light on the companies’ environmental impact, which represents a huge new source of information on how private vehicles contribute to carbon emissions, one that has the potential to show not only how customers use the services but also how policymakers will incorporate ride sharing into transport systems. Read more.