Items tagged with uber

Self-driving cars might be the future of transportation, but for Uber, the time to pounce is now. Uber's ultimate goal is to replace the ride service's more than 1 million flesh and blood drivers with autonomous vehicles, and it wants to do it as soon as possible. While it seems premature to think about such a thing, Uber's going to let customers in downtown Pittsburgh virtually thumb rides from self-driving cars using their smartphones. Some riders who request rides will be picked up in specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles. The autonomous vehicles will sport an array of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers to navigate the roadways and avoid accidents with... Read more...
In the grand scheme of the tech world, it's safe to say that Google is "everywhere". This is especially true with Google Maps, thanks to its easy-to-implement API. Businesses the world over have come to rely on it to show potential customers exactly where they're located. Sometimes, it almost feels like Google Maps has a monopoly; when have you ever visited a website that had a Bing maps widget? While many companies rely on Google Maps in one way or another, it doesn't mean that all of them are content to stay if a better option arises. In Uber's case, it now has fat enough pockets to not just move away from Google Maps, but to create its own global mapping solution - and that's exactly what... Read more...
Uber customers may be comfortable with the idea of being shuttled around by a human driver, but what if in the future those human drivers were replaced with computers? Fully autonomous/self-driving production vehicles are definitely going to be hitting our roads within the next decade, so it makes sense that Uber would be looking to embrace the technology. Uber’s autonomous vehicles are currently being developed at the company’s Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That’s where you’ll find the company’s modified Ford Fusion Hybrid roaming the streets. In its current prototype form, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is gathering mapping data and navigating city traffic in self-driving... Read more...
Whether it's showing up to the blacktop to trash talk the regulars in a game of hoops or meeting downtown with investors on a new venture, you'll make a bigger statement by stepping out of a Bimmer (it's's not a Beemer, folks) than showing up all sweaty from pedaling your Schwinn. Sure, life may have had other plans, putting a BMW out of your price range for the time being, but once the automaker launches its ReachNow car-sharing program, it won't matter. This isn't BMW's first foray into the car-sharing sector. BMW offers a similar service in Europe called DriveNow, and that's what ReachNow will be modeled after. The rubber will meet the road starting in Seattle with an initial fleet of 370... Read more...
Part of the reason why Uber is so popular is because of its feedback system. Drivers rate passengers and passengers rate drivers, a sort of check-and-balance system between two parties. But what if negative feedback isn't warranted? As a means of investigating complaints, Uber has launched a pilot program that uses smartphone technologies to see how a driver performs. "Gyrometers in phones can measure small movements, while GPS and accelerometers show how often a vehicle starts and stops, as well as its overall speed. If a rider complains that a driver accelerated too fast and broke too hard, we can review that trip using data," Uber explains. "If the feedback is accurate, then we can get in... Read more...
Last month, we reported on something rather concerning: vehicles with Internet connectivity can be broken into, and in same cases, controlled. It didn't take long before we found out that the story wasn't fake - a testament to the fact that vehicle makers are not taking security seriously enough. Would the hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, be targeted in a lawsuit for bringing such vulnerabilities to light? Nope - it's instead landed them a job. Companies sure are getting creative with how they hire, aren't they? The company to snatch these blokes up first is Uber, a company that is really banking big on an autonomous future. If its service is going to be picking people up with no real... Read more...
Electronic Arts is getting ready to release it's newest Madden game, Madden NFL 2016, to various game consoles tomorrow (August 25, 2016), though if you're anxious to hit the gridiron, you can score a copy for free for the Xbox One today, a day early. All you have to do is enter a promo code in Uber and cross your fingers. You're not guaranteed to get a free copy, and considering that demand will be "VERY HIGH" with limited availability, it amounts to a Hail Mary pass. Nevertheless, free copies are out there for the taking, and I've already seen one of my Facebook contacts boast about scoring one simply by firing up Uber. The free copies are being distributed by Uber drivers across all 32 NFL... Read more...
If there's one thing Uber can't seem to drive far enough away from, it's controversy. In the past six months alone, we've seen it suffer a database breach, cause major strikes, get hit with a class action, quadruple fares during a crisis, and backtrack on invasive measures. Continuing this perpetual controversial ride is a lawsuit filed Friday against Uber itself, its CEO Travis Kalanick, and some early investors. The man behind the suit is Kevin Halpern, founder of Celluride Wireless, an Uber-like company that was established six years before Uber's launching. This case isn't a mere matter of coincidence; Halpern claims that he discussed Celluride's design with Kalanick in great detail years... Read more...
Apparently Uber has big plans that extend beyond simply being an alternative taxi service for smartphone users. The startup wants to grow into something more: enter the logistics game and deliver both people and goods in short time frames. In order to do that, the company is willing spend several billion dollars acquiring Nokia's mapping service. According to a report in The New York Times, Uber is one of several companies caught up in a bidding war for Here, the primary competitor to Google Maps. Citing multiple people speaking on the condition of anonymity, NYT says Uber's offered as much as $3 billion to acquire the mapping service owned by Nokia, though it's going up against auto makers with... Read more...
Uber announced that it suffered a database breach at the hands of hackers last year. The company admitted that about 50,000 drivers may have been affected by the breach and announced that a lawsuit has already been filed by Uber against the as-yet unidentified hackers. “A small percentage of current and former Uber driver partner names and driver’s license numbers were contained in the database,” Uber’s managing counsel of data privacy, Katherine Tassi said in a statement. “Immediately upon discovery we changed the access protocols for the database, removing the possibility of unauthorized access. We are notifying impacted drivers, but we have not received any reports of actual misuse of information... Read more...
Add South Carolina to the list of states and cities grappling with the pluses and minuses of allowing ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. The state’s Public Service Commission released a cease and desist order yesterday afternoon to put a temporary end to ridesharing services from Uber subsidiary Raiser.  The state is contemplating an application from Rasier for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, which would give Uber approval to operate in the state. Trouble sprang up when the Public Service Commission determined that the ride sharing service might be operating before an official conclusion was reached. “At this point, it is not necessary to make... Read more...
Despite the negative press over class action lawsuits and questionable tactics, Uber wants cities to know that it can be of benefit, not just to people in need of a ride from point A to point B, but also in shaping more efficient transportation. Uber's pitch is that its level of data collection is unmatched and can be of great benefit to municipal partners. "To date, most cities have not had access to granular data describing the flows and trends of private traffic. The data provided by Uber will help policymakers and city planners develop a more detailed understanding of where people in the city need to go and how to improve traffic flows and congestion to get them there,"... Read more...
It appears that Uber is giving up its expansion efforts into Spain, at least for now. The app-based transportation company announced that it would be temporarily halting its efforts in Spain in response to a court injunction against Uber from the Association Madrileña Del Taxi. “Today we have received the formal ruling and, in compliance with the December 9th order from the commercial judge and in respect of the law, we are temporarily suspending uberPOP in Spain while we appeal the court ruling and look to develop new options to give Spaniards access to safe, reliable rides,” a statement reads from Uber’s blog. Uber went on to say that, during the temporary suspension, it would be... Read more...
For consumers, a service like Uber offers a number of benefits, with a big one being convenience. But, with that convenience brings a large number of caveats, some of which we've seen exhibited over the past couple of months. Take, for example, an executive that encourages digging up dirt on journalists that are critical of the company, or the fact that the company will invoke surge pricing during emergencies. And we can’t forget that ridiculous "safe rides fee". For these and other reasons, many have issues with Uber -- especially some countries overseas that have decided to prohibit the company from operating within their borders. And, I'm sure it wouldn't surprise... Read more...
The number of lawsuits being brought against Uber keeps piling up. This time, the app-based transportation company is a class-action lawsuit from both cab companies and its own drivers over Uber’s $1 Safe Rides Fee. Filed on Tuesday with the federal court in San Francisco, the lawsuit seeks restitution for the $1 Safe Rides Fee that has been charged to every U.S. Uber customer. Two Uber riders filed the class-action lawsuit claiming that they shouldn’t have to pay the $1 fee because the company’s background checks have been misrepresented as “industry leading” and “often more rigorous than what it takes to become a taxi driver.” However, the complaint states that is not the... Read more...
There is an ongoing hostage situation, at the time of this article’s publication, in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney, Australia. According to various reports, up to 40 people have been taken hostage. But while everyone is concerned for those involved, Uber seemed to think it was a good idea to increase the rates for its ride-sharing service – a decision that it shortly backtracked on. A tweet from the @Uber_Sydney account stated, “We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.” No sooner was the tweet sent before the public started to express outrage on social networks with some... Read more...
Just days after launching its ride-sharing service in Portland, OR, Uber Technologies is facing a lawsuit from the city. The city is wasting no time in its efforts to stop Uber’s Portland operations; Transportation Director Leah issued a cease and desist order to Uber on Monday. The cease and desist order has a passage that may worry some aspiring Uber drivers in the area. “The City will be taking appropriate enforcement action against Uber’s illegal activities and those of its drivers, which may include bringing suit against Uber for injunctive and other relief, imposing civil and criminal penalties, impounding illegally operated for-hire vehicles and any other steps deemed necessary... Read more...
It appears that on-demand transportation company Uber has some cleaning up to do after Uber SVP of Business Emil Michael set his sights on journalists. Last Friday at a private dinner in New York City, Michael suggested that the company should consider digging up dirt on its critics by hiring a team of opposition researchers. According to BuzzFeed News, Michael went on to say that the company should spend “a million dollars” to hire four journalists and four top opposition researchers in order to fight back against the press. The goal would be to look into “your personal lives, your families,” in order to give the media a taste of its own medicine. One such journalist,... Read more...
Don't be surprised if Google Maps looks totally different the next time you open it up on your Android or iPhone device. Google Maps is getting a facelift with bold colors and textures for a slick new look. Google says the redesign is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world, along with a material feel that will have layers and buttons more prominently displayed. Google's essentially revamping the entire Google Maps experience. For example, when you tap on a place's info sheet at the bottom of your screen, an info layer glides up to the top with photos, reviews, and other helpful information. You'll also find a "more to Explore" link at the bottom of the map if you want... Read more...
By now, it's pretty obvious that companies like Uber and Lyft offer a compelling service, one that taxi companies all over seem to be kicking themselves for not having thought of first. But despite the fact that these services offer a nice benefit to customers, they're fighting an uphill battle legally. Many, like Californian Senator Ben Hueso, prefer to vote in favor of the taxi lobby, causing the futures for companies like Uber to be clouded in complication. It's ironic, then, that the aforementioned Senator, mere hours after voting in support of a taxi lobby bill, was arrested for drunk driving. This is one of those situations when I feel compelled to fill in the blanks. After stumbling out... Read more...
Since the company's founding in 2009, Uber's ultimate goal has been to make it as easy as possible for anyone to get from point A to point B in as little time as possible. As it is today, the service is generally considered to be very efficient, but the company's not happy enough with that - it wants to make things even more efficient. That's where the company's new mobile API comes into play. With it, any mobile app developer can integrate Uber's service in their own app, potentially making it even easier for anyone to hail a ride. So far, at least eleven companies have already jumped on board, including Starbucks, United Airlines, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Tripcase, and Hyatt. Of course, Uber... Read more...
Lyft announced that its was pushing into Brooklyn and Queens, places where its chief competition, Uber, already has a foothold, and it now has the green light to launch in all five boroughs after coming to agreements with the state and with local entities. That’s a huge deal for the rideshare service, of course, but there are caveats. One is that, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky, Lyft must use only commercial drivers. Additionally, Lyft has to cease operations in Buffalo and Rochester by August 1st. A post by Lyft indicates that the cessation is temporary. ”Lyft... Read more...
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