Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi went undercover as a driver for the ride-hailing company in San Francisco, driving a used Tesla. In a recent interview, Khosrowshahi shared his experience of being an “undercover boss.”
Khosrowshahi said that the idea of going undercover as a driver came from an employee who had suggested it as a way for him to get a firsthand look at the challenges faced by Uber drivers.
During his time as a driver, Khosrowshahi said he picked up a variety of passengers, including a group of tourists visiting San Francisco and a man who was late for a job interview. He said he enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about what it’s like to be an Uber driver.
The CEO also shared his thoughts on the future of ride-hailing, saying that he sees a future where Uber operates a fleet of electric, self-driving cars. He said that while there will still be a need for human drivers in certain situations, he believes that autonomous vehicles will ultimately be safer and more efficient.
Khosrowshahi also touched on some of the challenges facing Uber, including the ongoing legal battles over the classification of drivers as employees or independent contractors. He said that while he understands the concerns of drivers, he believes that the current system of gig work offers a lot of flexibility and opportunities for people who might not be able to work traditional 9-to-5 jobs.
The CEO’s undercover stint comes as Uber continues to navigate a challenging year, with the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting the company’s business. In recent months, Uber has been focused on expanding its food delivery service, Uber Eats, as a way to offset some of the losses from its ride-hailing business.
Overall, Khosrowshahi said that his experience as an Uber driver was eye-opening and gave him a new appreciation for the work that drivers do. He said that while he may not be getting behind the wheel again anytime soon, he plans to stay in touch with drivers and continue to listen to their feedback.