Technology: Uber faces tighter regulations in its most important cities - - PressFrom - US
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Technology Uber faces tighter regulations in its most important cities

18:05  03 december  2019
18:05  03 december  2019 Source:   qz.com

Uber Pet lets furry friends join the ride — for a fee

  Uber Pet lets furry friends join the ride — for a fee It used to be that bringing a dog or cat in an Uber was unpredictable . Uber recommended customers contact their drivers before bringing pets in the car, but it’s likely that many people didn’t follow this advice. Surprise pets are among the many complaints that you’ll hear from Uber drivers. © Provided by Vox Media, Inc.Drivers have allergies or don’t want to deal with shedding or clean-up. As a result, oftentimes, the ride would be canceled. Uber wants to reduce that friction with this new feature. Now, riders can select Uber Pet among the list of options before selecting a ride.

Uber also has faced backlash from cities around the world, where regulators and entrenched Khosrowshahi is taking a much more measured approach to steering the company that now Uber has allies in its fight—Londoners. Few residents own cars, and they quickly started to rely on Uber

In some cities around the world where it operates, Uber is on a collision course with regulators , while in others it remains firmly outlawed. Uber suspended operations in Austin in May 2016 after the city ’s voters rejected a proposal to allow the company to self- regulate its drivers, instead of upholding

November was a bad month for Uber. London declined to renew its license. Seattle approved new fees on rides and a to-be-determined minimum wage for drivers. Chicago passed a congestion tax on ride-hail services that adds as much as $3 to private rides during peak hours. New Jersey hit the company with a $640 million bill for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors.

Dara Khosrowshahi holding a sign: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi© Provided by Quartz Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Uber’s share price slipped by 6% in November, to $29.60. Even equity analysts, a famously optimistic bunch, have lost faith in Uber and lowered their price targets to an average of around its $45 IPO price, a mark Uber has closed above only twice since it went public in May.

'Uber Pet' will let drivers know your furry friend is coming too

  'Uber Pet' will let drivers know your furry friend is coming too Uber is testing a new ride option called Uber Pet, through which you can give drivers a heads up that you're bringing your pet along. Starting November 16th, riders in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tampa Bay will see the option in the Uber app. You'll pay a "small surcharge" to ride with your furry friend, though. You'll see the fee on your receipt and Uber'll add it to the upfront price if you choose that option.It could help both riders and drivers avoid any unwanted surprises.

Uber said its operations had the necessary permits to operate. Uber 's operating model has disrupted the meter taxis business, as consumers have opted for the ease and affordability of Uber . South Africa is not the only country in the world struggling with Uber 's impact, as established transport industries

We’re discussing something much more intriguing. What is the most - important city in the world? Though it only just breaks the top 10 cities in terms of size of its economy, falling behind even China’s own Shanghai, its political importance is almost unparalleled.

Ride-hail companies have entered a new era, marked not by breakneck growth but by skeptical and emboldened regulators. Cities lost the first round against Uber, which strong-armed them into passing rules it wrote to suit its ride-hail service before anyone could figure out what was happening. Now, cities have regrouped and are flexing their muscles. One by one, Uber’s most important markets—London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the entire state of California—are proposing taxes and rules that one way or another make rides more expensive.

It’s hard to overstate the threat this shift poses to companies like Uber. Ride-hailing is built on regulatory arbitrage. It hires workers as independent contractors instead of employees; it circumvents many of the rules imposed on traditional taxi companies; in some countries, it sidesteps taxes on local goods and services. All these things helped make Uber’s low prices possible, and low prices are Uber’s main selling point. Closing those loopholes is bound to make rides more expensive. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called London’s decision to withhold Uber’s license a “seismic blow.”

Uber now lets you tell your driver if you're traveling with a pet

  Uber now lets you tell your driver if you're traveling with a pet The ride-hailing company's new feature, dubbed Uber Pet, lets riders give drivers a heads up when they're bringing along an animal."This new feature lets you communicate to a driver that you'll be bringing a furried (or even scaled!) friend onboard your Uber trip," Uber wrote in a blog post. "We built this feature to give riders peace of mind.

Uber enters a city without seeking permission from regulators or officially clarifying its position. After facing similar tensions in Boston and Washington DC, Uber ’s CEO, Travis Kalanick Uber plays by its own rules – shortchanging drivers, dodging local taxes and hiding behind expensive lawyers.

Waymo has accused Uber of using stolen trade secrets to develop its autonomous vehicles. Uber made a particular effort to deploy the tool in cities where it faced opposition from local regulators or One of those cities was Portland. The Times reported that Uber used the Greyball tool there in late

Uber isn’t the only company under threat. Juno, a three-year-old ride-hail service in New York, shut down in November and filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to find a buyer. Juno blamed its financial trouble on a wage floor for New York City ride-hail drivers that took effect in February, arguing it increased costs, lowered drivers’ hourly pay, and led to a significant drop in ridership. Lyft, which operates only in North America, is also exposed. Lyft and Juno both sued New York earlier this year over its driver pay rules. In California, Lyft and Uber have each pledged $30 million to fight a new law that makes it harder to classify workers as independent contractors.

Lyft said in an emailed statement that it is committed to working with legislators on policies that preserve “the economic opportunity, unique flexibility and reliable service that people have come to expect from the platform.” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s third-quarters earnings call that Uber remained focused “on positive, productive engagement with regulators around the world.” Uber recently unveiled new terms of service for drivers requiring them to “acknowledge and agree” that Uber “is a technology services provider that does not provide transportation services” in order to use the app.

Uber, Lyft May Face Greater Federal Oversight, Lawmaker Warns

  Uber, Lyft May Face Greater Federal Oversight, Lawmaker Warns Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. may soon face stepped-up oversight after largely avoiding traditional rules during their rapid expansion in recent years, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee warned on Wednesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Uber will eventually come to an agreement with the London transport regulator . As one of the few markets where Uber actually turns a profit, London’s regulator can affect change more easily than most . “ Uber has made a lot of effort to try and assuage some of the concerns TfL had around safety

Uber clashes with regulators in cities around the world. Read more . Within the UK, it may be noted that Uber said: “This ruling will not change things in most EU countries, where we already operate under “ Uber must get its house in order and play by the same rules as everybody else,” she said.

For nearly a decade, all of these companies—Uber, Lyft, and various other competitors that have cycled through the space—prioritized growth and left profits for later. The strategy contained an implicit assumption that profits would come more easily with scale; that more cities and bookings meant more clout with regulators; and that thin margins were fine because they could make money with volume. The reality heading into 2020 looks precisely the opposite: more rules, more taxes, and more costly protections for workers. If Uber never figured out how to make money in a decade of loose oversight, how will it fare when regulators start paying attention?

Uber will test an audio recording safety feature in Brazil and Mexico .
A couple months ago, we learned that Uber was testing a feature that would allow riders to record audio through the app if they felt unsafe during a trip. Now, Uber is launching a pilot of that audio-recording feature in select cities in Brazil and Mexico, The Washington Post reports. Beginning in December, users in those cities will be allowed to opt in to activate audio recording on all trips. If, after the trip, they'd like to report a safetyBeginning in December, users in those cities will be allowed to opt in to activate audio recording on all trips. If, after the trip, they'd like to report a safety incident, they can submit the audio recording to Uber's customer support agents.

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