The tech-strategy behind Uber and Lyft
For most people, Uber and Lyft are companies that do the same thing but technologists see both of them in an entirely different light. When looked at closely both the companies approach technology, development, and infrastructure in distinct ways. Today we are going to have a look at both of these companies and compare these differences!
While Lyft is all about transportation service business; Uber intends to build a marketplace and technology platform that extends in more than one area with Uber Eats and Uber Freight.
Lyft uses Amazon Web Services and Uber has a classic hybrid cloud approach. Thus both companies are heavily invested in the cloud.
Lyft has agreed to spend a minimum of $300 million in the next few years. Amazon’s architecture allows Lyft to withstand business surges. Uber’s multi-cloud vendors include a highly automated infrastructure and co-located facilities, thus enabling efficient scaling without any upfront infrastructure expense.
AI and Machine Learning
Data science and algorithms are significant to Uber’s marketplace technologies. Their business plan includes automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning. They have developed algorithms based on customer pain points ranging from menu (Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automatic driver license approval, crash detection to improved GPS, etc. By using real-time algorithms Uber has created its own proprietary payment, routing, and marketing technologies for Uber, Uber Eats, and Uber Freight. Thus the company has made technology its key driver to predict supply and demand, evaluate variables like distance, time, weather, traffic. This also stands true when it comes to its growth and future plans.
Lyft uses data science tools for machine learning to use historical data efficiently. Data insights allow them to offer competitive prices during demand, predict driver availability, smooth ride experience for its customers, optimize routes, etc. Data science and algorithms will aid to inform service levels, facilitate product development, increase efficiency, and increase driver earnings.
Technology has really enabled both companies to evolve and grow in their preferred directions. It has been a key enabler. In order to keep tech and business coordinated Uber employs agile software and DevOps. Uber persistently experiments, tests, creates prototypes, and refines its products for better service for its platform users. It chooses small neighborhoods or cities to test its offers, gather feedback, improve its performance, and make necessary corrections before scaling the products to reach additional users.
Lyft flawlessly integrates its product and development teams with engineering, analytics, data science, and design along with using third-party open-source software. It also follows a continuous deployment strategy.
Autonomous vehicles are the future that both companies are looking towards however with different approaches.
With more than 1000 employees dedicated to next-gen transportation, Uber has it’s Advanced Technologies Group focused on autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with manufacturers like Toyota and Volvo. Uber Elevate is another branch where Uber is exploring autonomous technologies via aerial ride-sharing.
Lyft connects its network with partners by using an open autonomous vehicle platform. Lyft is test-driving its autonomous vehicles and the company soon will be able to compare its simulated testing to real driving. Nonetheless, the idea of autonomous vehicles completely replacing human drivers still remains far fetched.
It is no surprise that technology like the Cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence will make a huge difference to the future of these companies. This also creates a huge demand for talent to bridge the gap between business strategies and technology. Talented personnel with advanced skill levels will prove to be invaluable to these disruptive companies.