There are, as of Fall 2015, over 160,000 Uber drivers active in 290 cities in 50 Countries around the world serving over 1 million rides a day in continuous growth. Latest figures show 1 million drives a day just in China, representing 30% of overall Uber rides with 40 cities covered at the end of 2015; in India Uber is serving 200,000 rides a day in 18 cities.
In 2014 Uber run 140 million rides, in 2015 it is going to triple this number (final stats are not available as I write this blog).
Most interestingly, at least to me, is that 50% of Uber drivers were not professional drivers before Uber. They found a new job because of Uber. In Australia Uber created 15,000 new jobs serving 1 million registered users.
Of course, it is not all shining! Professional taxi drivers are hit by Uber and they have put up a fight, with some success in some Countries, in particular in Western European Countries.
This is not surprising at all. Any "disruption" by definition is creating havoc in the market place hitting those already playing the game by changing the rules. And indeed taxi drivers are complaining because Uber does not play along with existing rules. Again this is at the core of any disruption!
The digital economy is disrupting the atom based economy, by lowering transaction cost it opens the door to new players, hitting the existing ones that often cannot adopt the new rules leaving them to fight for their preservation. In the long run the digital economy is more efficient and market forces eventually win.
And Uber has opened a Pandora box. Other companies, based on similar model are popping up.
Also interesting the "drive" (if you pardon the pun) of Uber towards self driving cars. That will lead to another disruption. The long term aim is clear. Replace the concept of a private car that is very seldom used, with the one of a share car that by serving many users makes for a much more efficient use of capital investment.