Robotaxis’ vomit problem: there’s no one to clean up the mess
It didn’t take long for Pritam Singh to learn a key lesson about working for Lyft.
It didn’t take long for Pritam Singh to learn a key lesson about working for Lyft. People are disgusting. They have a nasty habit of throwing up in moving vehicles.
Rideshare drivers are acutely aware that customers tend to do that, along with slightly less annoying things like wiping hamburger-greasy fingers on armrests and turning floor mats into swamps of slush. Singh, who ferries passengers for Lyft Inc. in Manhattan several evenings a week, drops about $200 a month cleaning — really, sometimes it feels like sanitizing — his Toyota Camry.
For General Motors, Uber and others mulling a foray into robotaxis, the bill could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually. When you add things like insurance, inventory storage and the steadily shrinking value of beat-up cars? Billions.