In the near term, Uber is expected to appeal this ruling. Long-term, Uber retains a stake in Aurora (its previous in-house autonomous driving start-up). Autonomous vehicles would certainly solve the labor disputes.
So what are we watching from here?
Neither Uber nor Lyft reports Q3 Earnings until November, but data suggests Lyft is flexing a reopening edge.
LYFT Purchase Intent Mentions and Consumer Happiness levels reveal YoY improvements on a 30day Moving Average. The ride-sharing-only business model is benefitting more on a comparative basis as consumers resume entertainment activities and travel.
UBER Consumer Happiness is improving, but not as quickly as LYFT, and overall demand is muted YoY. The company's Uber Eats food delivery helped to retain consumer demand during the pandemic, but continues to fall in second place to industry leader, DoorDash. Uber Eats Purchase Intent mentions have declined -39% YoY vs. DASH at -18% YoY.
While Lyft has secured a short-term edge, its narrow focus on transportation vs. Uber's expansive logistics services may stunt long-term growth.