Uber cars to use drivers for a 'long, long time,' says CEO Khosrowshahi

  • Dara Khosrowshahi said in 10 years 70 percent of Uber network may be autonomous
  • The Uber boss said he would still need to double the amount of drivers needed
  • Google's CFO said there are lots of new unfilled jobs that require digital skills

The CEO of Uber has dismissed the idea that his app will soon be able to dispense with drivers in order to control taxi cabs.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday that while automation would certainly develop, his firm would use drivers for a "long, long time."

"Even if you look 10 years forward and 70 percent of our network is autonomous, which is an optimistic assessment, we are still going to need to double the number of drivers out there," he said.

Khosrowshahi added that nobody ever said Ford inventing the assembly line was bad for the economy and that automation will help drive down costs for a huge range of consumer goods.

Speaking on the same panel was Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat, who also controls the finances for subsidiary firm Google.

Porat said the threat to traditional jobs needed to be weighed against new opportunities and how firms can identify what training is needed.

"Ninety percent of jobs today require some sort of digital skills. Here in the EU, half of CEOs say they cannot find people with those skills," she said.

"This is not asking people at the age of whatever to learn how to code. This is about how you use spreadsheets, how do you use email."