📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Uber CEO Tells Stephen Colbert He's an Uber Driver, Says Driverless Cars Are the Future (VIDEO) Travis Kalanick made an appearance Thursday night on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'

By Laura Entis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Along with the expected A-listers (George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson) and politicians (Joe Biden, Jeb Bush), the first week of CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was marked by the appearance of notable Silicon Valley figures. On Tuesday, Colbert discussed artificial intelligence and the colonization of Mars with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and last night, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick dropped by to talk about the ride-hailing company, recently valued at $50 billion.

While Colbert gave Kalanick -- hardly a household name to most viewers -- a platform to hype his company ("What's the next thing you want to 'Uberize?' he asked), he also grilled him on pressure points that have made Uber a divisive force, including surge pricing and the ongoing taxi-Uber war.

"What is your response to Uber kills professional good paying jobs and it's unfair to the drivers and it's destroying the cab industry?" Colbert asked.

Kalanick unleashed talking points about the entrenched, ineffective nature of the taxi industry. "A taxi driver spends $40,000 a year renting a car. That should be a Bentley you're riding around in, but instead it goes to a taxi owner who owns the license to own and operate that cab," he said. He also highlighted drivers' ability to set their own schedules, use their own cars and make more money with Uber.

Related: Stephen Colbert to Interview Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick During First Week of 'Late Show'

This defense was undercut by Colbert's next question: "You said you want self-driving Uber cars. That's not for the driver -- we're employing robots at that point."

To which Kalanick responded that, like it or not, automated driving is the future. Blame innovation, don't blame Uber.

"Google is doing the driverless thing. Tesla is doing the driverless thing. Apple is doing the driverless thing," he said. "This is going to be the world. So a question for a tech company is, do you want to be part of the future or do you want to resist the future."

During the taping, Kalanick was reportedly interrupted by a pro-taxi heckler. According to Business Insider, instead of cutting the protestor off Colbert let him speak before eventually apologizing to Kalanick. The exchange was cut before the segment aired.

Kalanick said he occassionally drives for Uber. "Of course," he answered when Colbert asked, adding that his rating is perfect: "All five-star rides."

Related: 5 Entrepreneurial Lessons From Uber on Its 5-Year Anniversary

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Data & Recovery

Invest in Your Company's Cybersecurity with This $50 Bundle

Train to become a certified ethical hacker with this collection of e-learning courses.

Business Culture

Are 5-Day Workweeks Outdated? Exploring Alternative Schedules for the Modern Workforce

Discussing the history and evolution of the five-day workweek and exploring more flexible work schedules that better accommodate the diverse needs and lifestyles of today's workforce.

Growing a Business

3 Strategies to Keep Your Customers Coming Back For More

The critical risk area for losing a guest varies, depending on the industry and the individual guest's experience, but three main touch points offer opportunities to reinforce loyalty. Just remember that they can also drive guests away if not done right.

Starting a Business

Maximize Profits and Achieve Success With These Effective Goal Setting Tips

Join us for this exclusive subscriber Q&A, where Clinton Sparks shares his goal-setting secrets for all entrepreneurs.

Business Culture

Hybrid Work Is Failing Your Employees — Here's Why (and What You Can Do About It)

Business leaders are trying to choose between in-person and remote work. This leads to hybrid, which just isn't effective. Here's why.

Growing a Business

How to Properly Manage the Cash Flow of Your Startup

Ever think financial planning and analysis is just for big businesses? Think again! Startups thrive on solid financial planning, which is key to staying ahead of your competitors.