Tag Archives: Uber

Google To Make Driverless Cars An Alphabet Company In 2016

by John Lippert, Bloomberg

google driverless car

The race to develop a self-driving vehicle fleet has intensified since February when Bloomberg reported that Google was developing a rival to Uber Technologies Inc., most likely in conjunction with its driverless-car project. Uber is pursuing its own autonomous capabilities, while automakers are deploying semi-autonomous technologies while experimenting with so-called shared mobility. Uber is spending some of the more than $10 billion it has raised in private markets to develop self-driving cars. … Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said Tesla could triple its revenue by 2029 by launching its own on-demand mobility service. Read More ›

Uber Seeks To Head Off Lawsuits With New Binding Driver Agreement

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

One East Bay driver, who asked not to be identified because he fears retaliation from Uber, said he had not immediately understood that he could opt out of the [binding arbitration] provision. “That wasn’t obvious to me,” said that driver, who graduated from UC Berkeley and worked in a professional job for many years. … Retaliation by Uber against drivers for opting out of the arbitration clause or for pursuing First Amendment rights to criticize the company would be illegal, but numerous drivers commenting on social media seemed unaware of this. Read More ›

Uber Drivers Get Big Boost In Lawsuit Against Company

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled that even drivers who accepted mandatory arbitration in their Uber contract should be included in the [class-action suit], saying that clause was unenforceable. That means the majority of the 160,000 people who have ever driven for Uber in California are now part of the class. … If the drivers win, [their lawyer] has said she’ll next seek a nationwide class-action. … The Uber class-action is the furthest along of a bevy of lawsuits against companies such as Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, Caviar and Handy in which gig workers are seeking the protections and rights of employees. Read More ›

New California Data On Ride Services Reveal Rise In Collisions And Incidents

by Bryan Goebel, The California Report

“If it’s normalized by miles driven, you’d expect the number of incidents to be somewhat stable over time,” [UCLA transportation expert Juan Matute told the CPUC]. “That would be indicative of TNCs being less safe as they scale up.” … In 2013, an Uber driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter for hitting and killing 6-year-old Sofia Liu as she and her family were walking in a crosswalk. … [Uber] was threatened in July with suspension and a $7 million fine by an administrative law judge for failing to meet all the [CPUC] reporting requirements. Read More ›

Uber Sued Over Alleged Rapes By Drivers

by Marisa Kendall, The Recorder, San Francisco

“Unfortunately, despite its self-proclaimed ‘commitment to safety,’ opening the Uber app and setting the pick-up location has proven to be the modern day equivalent of electronic hitchhiking,” the lawyers wrote. “Buyer beware—we all know how those horror movies end.” … The two assaults are part of a pattern of “similarly heinous, but avoidable attacks,” the Jane Does’ lawyers wrote. They claim more than 30 sexual assaults by Uber drivers against passengers have been reported in the media over the past two years.
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Uber Loses Bid To Force Arbitration On California Driver

by Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg

Uber logo

Uber is appealing the San Francisco federal court decision in a case that might force the startup to change its business model and erode its $50 billion valuation. … “I’m not going to fly in the face of a stark inconsistency in order to massage this into arbitrability,” [Judge Ernest Goldsmith] told lawyers during a hearing Monday. … “I can’t imagine that they’re going to continue with a contract like this,” Goldsmith said, referring to Uber. “It’s not a close case. It starts with the clearest contradictory language and just goes on and on and on.” Read More ›

Uber Drivers Granted Class-Action Status In Legal Battle

by Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

Uber logo

Uber now stands to lose far more than if the case had proceeded as a suit involving only three plaintiffs. In addition to potentially being on the hook for back wages, sick leave, expenses and benefits, the company could be ordered to pay gratuities owed to thousands of former drivers. “We’re talking about millions of dollars,” said Lonnie Giamela of labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips. And that doesn’t even touch on what a loss would mean for Uber’s independent contractor-reliant business model, which has earned the company a $50-billion valuation. Read More ›

Uber Unleashes Lobbyists In California To Reshape Driver Rules

by Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

Uber has spent almost a million dollars since 2013 on lobbyists in California. … Lyft, also based in San Francisco, has spent $362,000 on lobbying the legislature since 2013. … Some lawmakers say Uber is skirting rules that apply to similar businesses. “In California, we allow them to operate for free while we require many other businesses to pay for permits, franchising fees and licenses,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, the sole vote against Low’s measure in May. “It’s beyond ridiculous what they’re getting away with.” Read More ›

San Francisco District Attorney Says Uber Hires Killers, Rapists

by Vic Lee, ABC 7 News

Uber is facing serious allegations. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says rapists, kidnappers, and killers are driving some people to their destinations. If the allegations against the company are true, it’s frightening to think about who you’re trusting behind the wheel with your life in their hands. Gascon and his counterpart in Los Angeles filed a civil complaint against Uber last December. That complaint said Uber was misleading passengers about its drivers’ backgrounds. This new document actually lists the criminal backgrounds of dozens of its drivers. Read More ›

Will Uber Drivers Get Class-Action Status For Employment Case?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber exec toys with car and cash

The case’s outcome also looms over other on-demand companies because workers deemed employees have mandates on wages and benefits that contractors do not. If the drivers win class-action status and ultimately prevail, Uber would be faced with a sweeping overhaul of its relationship with drivers that would “radically change” the app and challenge Uber’s business model. Read More ›

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