News That Matters

Tag: Uber

Contrition wins the day for Uber in a big market

Contrition wins the day for Uber in a big market

Finance
SECOND chances exist, after all. Last September Uber was sideswiped when Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transport regulator, revoked the ride-hailing giant’s licence to operate in the capital, citing concerns related to public safety and reporting of drivers’ criminal offences. The decision appeared to dent the prospects of the firm, which counts London as its largest European market and one of the most lucrative of its 600 cities. Uber continued to operate in London while appealing the decision, but a lot still hung in the balance.Welcome news came on June 26th when a judge in London awarded the firm a licence for 15 months. In court Uber had taken a contrite and muted stance, promising to do more to provide support for riders and drivers, including launching a t...
Uber wins short-term licence for London

Uber wins short-term licence for London

Business
Uber has been granted a 15-month licence to operate in London in a decision which reverses a block placed on its service last year. Transport for London (TfL) refused to give the Uber a five-year operating licence last September, blaming failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and to background checks on drivers.But Westminster Magistrates' Court has now accepted the firm's assertions that its corporate culture had improved since its license was revoked.Uber told the court there had been a "wholesale change" and it had appointed three non-executive board members.Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot granted the reduced licence but criticised the firm for attempting to "grow the business, come what may".Ms Arbuthnot previously indicated the 18-month provisi...
Arizona Uber crash driver was 'watching TV'

Arizona Uber crash driver was 'watching TV'

Technology
Media playback is unsupported on your device The "safety operator" of a self-driving Uber car was watching TV just before the vehicle was involved in a fatal collision, a police report reveals.The Uber car struck and killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, 49, of Tempe, Arizona in March.The police report suggests the car's driver was streaming an episode of talent show The Voice rather than monitoring the car's progress.It suggests she could face charges of vehicle manslaughter.No actionThe Tempe police report said the crash was "entirely avoidable" if the Uber operator, Rafaela Vasquez, had been watching the road while the car was operating autonomously. County prosecutors have received a copy of the police report, which was released on 21 June fo...
Uber applies for patent to spot drunk passengers

Uber applies for patent to spot drunk passengers

Technology
Taxi app company Uber has applied for a patent to use artificial intelligence to determine how drunk potential passengers might be.The app used to summon rides could also feed other information to the driver, including a passenger's location, how accurately they are typing and even the angle they are holding their phone at.It could help drivers who do not want to pick up inebriated riders.But critics said it could also be used to identify vulnerable passengers.According to the application to the US patent office, the system would spot "uncharacteristic user activity".Uber does not have the best track record when it comes to collecting data. In 2014 it was revealed the company used a software program known as God View to monitor r...
Uber ends forced arbitration for sex misconduct victims — but only for individuals

Uber ends forced arbitration for sex misconduct victims — but only for individuals

Technology
The rideshare company Uber announced Tuesday that it is doing away with a rule that forced arbitration on passengers and drivers who come forward claiming they've been sexually harassed or assaulted. But the move is drawing some criticism for applying only to individuals and not class-action suits. The policy shift was detailed in a letter titled "Turning the lights on" published on the company's site. Uber's Chief Legal Officer Tony West wrote that the company "will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment by Uber riders, drivers or employees." This update, he continued, will "give riders, drivers and employees options to continue taking accusations of harassment or assaults into arbitration, but also allow for a confidential...