Out of nowhere, Uber completely shifted the ground under the world of transportation.
Prior to 2016, the rise of the electric car had been the hottest story, led by Tesla, but with new entrants such as Faraday Future arriving on the scene.
But Uber and it $60-billion-plus valuation and steady march toward dominating the ride-hailing and ride-sharing business showed that although EVs were cool, there was a massive consumer desire for a better and more technologically enabled taxi services.
Meanwhile, self-driving cars were becoming a major new trend.
Uber put these two together when it rolled out a fleet of self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh. The entire auto industry immediately took notice.
That would have been the biggest car story of 2016 on its own. But then Uber botched the rollout of self-driving vehicles in San Francisco and effectively as it has triumphed in Pittsburgh. CEO Travis Kalanick and his company found themselves ordered by the California DMV to cease using the self-driving cars until Uber acquired a $150 permit from the state.
Uber refused, and the story continues...