This Week In Rideshare: Delivery, Disability, and Robots.

LegalRideshare
3 min readDec 15, 2023

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A new EU deal for gig workers, the struggles of one Lyft driver and Amazon robots come cheap. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

GIG WORKERS AS EMPLOYEES

The EU tells delivery apps gig workers are now employees. Fortune reported:

European Union negotiators backed a deal to reclassify millions of people working for ride-hailing and food-delivery apps as employees in a set of rules that could cost the industry billions of euros each year.

The provisional deal will require platforms to give full status to the estimated 5.5 million workers who meet at least two out of five conditions that indicate their relationship with the apps fits that of an employee rather than someone who’s self employed, the EU said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal will also require platforms to tell workers when they’re being monitored or managed by algorithms, which can result in a lack of transparency for workers about how decisions are made and how their personal data is used, the statement said. Platforms won’t be allowed to process certain kinds of personal data including private conversations and information that can be used to infer race, political opinions, migration or health status.

DRIVING WITH A DISABILITY

One disabled Lyft driver is now struggling to make ends meet. Business Insider reported:

Elizabeth, who’s in her mid-30s and works in the Southeast, said she first started gig work after suffering an injury that limited her work options. She told Business Insider she valued the flexibility of driving for Lyft and Uber, given she could take the day off if she was in pain.

She still loves how she can take days off when she’s not feeling up to driving. Though now, some weeks — which can vary between 15 to 40 hours given the limitations of her disability — she barely makes $200 a week over what she spends on her vehicle’s maintenance and gas. She said she struggled to make her $400 car payment last month.

Forty-five percent of Gen Z and 44% of millennials are making $2,500 or more a month in gig work after considering expenses, compared to 36% of Gen X and 30% of boomers, a TransUnion study of nearly 1,000 adults found.

AMAZON ROBOT WORKERS WILL COST $3/HR

A new Amazon warehouse robot comes at a very low cost. Business Insider reported:

Amazon recently began testing a new robot in its warehouse operations — meet Digit, a humanoid bipedal robot with a turquoise torso and smiley eyes.

Digit costs about $10 to $12 an hour to operate right now, based on its price and lifespan, but the company predicts that cost to drop to $2 to $3 an hour plus overhead software costs as production ramps up, Agility Robotics CEO Damion Shelton told Bloomberg.

Of course, Digit’s human-like appearance probably also isn’t going to quell the fears of any workers worried they’ll eventually be replaced, but Amazon is saying Digit is designed to “work collaboratively” with employees, not replace them.

Amazon has been building up its robot fleet for years. It had 45,000 robots across 20 fulfillment centers back in 2017, Insider previously reported, and now says it has “750,000 robots working collaboratively with our employees.”

LegalRideshare is the first law firm in the United States to focus exclusively on Uber®, Lyft®, gig workers, delivery and e-scooter accidents and injuries. Consultations are always free.

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LegalRideshare

We’re the only law firm in the US entirely focused on Uber, Lyft, and gig worker accident and injury claims. FREE CONSULTATIONS at LegalRideshare.com