This Week in Rideshare: Safety, Self-driving and Settlements.
Uber overhauls their app, Lyft goes driverless and a $8.4 million mistake. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
A Beverly Hills woman is suing Uber. La Magazine reported:
A woman is suing Uber Technologies Inc., alleging a driver sexually assaulted her after she fell asleep in the back seat of his car in 2021, a ride she summoned because she felt it too unsafe to drive herself after drinking with friends.
“Uber’s response to the systemic problem of the sexual assaulting and raping of their female customers and passengers has been woefully inadequate,” the suit states.
Since 2014, thousands of female Uber passengers have endured unlawful sexual misconduct at the hands of their UBER drivers including rape, sexual assault, and physical violence, the suit alleges.
Uber overhauls their app’s safety features. The Verge reported:
Contacting an ADT safety agent is one of the newest features in the toolkit. Uber posits that some riders may find themselves in a situation that doesn’t qualify as a 911-level emergency but still may need to be reported. In those instances, customers can call or text an ADT agent, who can stay in contact for the duration of the trip or even contact 911 on behalf of the rider.
When customers do need to contact 911 but need to do so discretely, Uber is expanding its text-911 function to more cities. The company says that 60 percent of markets will now have the feature, including all of California and New York.
Lyft rolls out driverless cars in Austin. KVUE reported:
They did not give an exact date on when this will be launching, but said it would be in the near future. Although an actual person with Argo AI will be in the car to pick up Lyft users, they hope that won’t be the case for long.
Argo AI said they are operating driverless testing during daytime business hours, in busy neighborhoods. They said they are operating in East Austin, Downtown Austin, the University of Texas area and South Congress Avenue.
The group has about 20 self-driving cars on Austin streets, but for now, they still have a testing specialist in the driver’s seat.
Uber and Lyft drivers are protesting congestion pricing. CBS News reported:
The organizers of the rally said 23,000 ride-share drivers have already submitting complaints to the MTA, protesting what they call a double tax.
The group Justice For App Workers says the congestion pricing plan is beyond crushing to their careers.
The congestion pricing plans aims to charge drivers an electronic toll as high as $23 when they enter the zone below 60th Street in Manhattan, with the West Side Highway and the FDR exempted.
“Rising of the inflation, the rising of gas prices, this is so overwhelming,” Uber and Lyft driver Henry Chen said. “The driver is not making any money, is not putting food on the tables. It is really ridiculous.”
Uber signs a $8.4 million settlement over misclassifying drivers. SHRM reported:
Uber recently agreed to pay $8.4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with California drivers who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees. The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California approved the settlement on July 21.
The settlement applies to drivers who used the Uber Rides App in California between Feb. 28, 2019, and Dec. 16, 2020, or who used the Uber EATS App in California between June 28, 2016, and Oct. 7, 2021, and who opted out of Uber’s arbitration agreement. It does not reclassify drivers as employees.
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