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WGS 2017 – Uber CEO believes key to success is to be ‘customer obsessed’

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick has declared that in order for a business to be successful it has to not only serve the people, but be 'customer obsessed'. The chief executive of the US based global ride-hailing service was discussing 'The Future of Urban Mobility' at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Kalanick was at his charismatic best during his interview which was conducted by CNN's Becky Anderson. He revealed that Uber are customer success and that dedication to serving people is the fundamental reason for their incredible global success. Kalanick said: "A business only succeeds when you truly serve the people. You have to be 'customer obsessed' in order to become and sustain a successful business."

Kalanick declared his company makes cities better and that there is not one example globally where Uber hasn't made a city successful. Uber's CEO said: "We obsess on making cities better, sometimes cities are not set-up to embrace the future or embrace progress. It's not a matter of arrogance, but we just can't work under certain regimes, they're not set-up for us to work. But when there's a minimum fare that's so high that not a lot of people can use, well our system doesn't work if only a few can use. We're in 500 cities and we've improved every one of them."

He made some interesting predictions and vowed that self-driving automobiles represented a safer and better future for the automotive industry - while also saying autonomy would reduce the issue of urban congestion.

Kalanick said: "We can reduce road deaths, improve mobility and make cities better places for all residents to live in. Our roads will be populated with self-driving vehicles, which will eliminate traffics jams and urban congestion in less than five years."

Uber's CEO pointed to the shocking statistic that 1.3 million people die every year in road traffic accidents - and claimed that with self-driving vehicles there will be no road fatalities - he also spoke of his desire to continue to merge collaborations with car manufacturers, on the back of his recent deal with German carmaker Daimler.

Kalanick added: "There will be no more traffic accidents with self-driving cars - and we will partner with the car industry. We want cars to be available everywhere, every time, efficient, quick, reliable, affordable, and fully democratized. Push a button and go where you want to go. We recently announced a partnership with Daimler to manufacture autonomous cars, and we want to continue to build relationships with car manufacturers."

When asked by Anderson on Uber's decision to opt out of China - Kalanick refuted the suggestion and said they 'went big in China'. Kalanick said: "I don't feel like we opted out in China, I think we opted in big time in China. It was one of my favorite entrepreneurial journeys that I've had. We entered China in 2013, and people said we were crazy. No internet company has ever succeeded there, what we found was wonderful cities that really embrace progress and technology and we went big, but it didn't work out, but it was a wonderful, wonderful experience."