Traffic gets worse, StopClub helps drivers, and Uber fights the EU. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
Uber made traffic bad. Robotaxis will make it worse. San Francisco Chronicle adds:
The real threat from robotaxis is the underlying technology. Once these cars inevitably learn to get around the traffic cones and gain the public’s trust, their convenience could seduce us into vastly overusing our cars.
The result? An artificial-intelligence-powered nightmare of traffic, technically perfect but awful for our cities.
In the 2010s, the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where one of us serves as the director, was at the forefront of using Big Data to study how ride-hailing and ride-sharing could make our streets cleaner and more efficient. The findings appeared to be astonishing: With minimal delays to passengers, we could match riders and reduce the size of New York City taxi fleets by 40%. More people could get around in fewer cars for less money. We could reduce car ownership, and free up curbs and parking lots for new uses.
Our research was technically right, but we had not taken into account changes in human behavior.
This dynamic became clear in the data a few years later: On average, ride-hailing trips generated far more traffic and 69% more carbon dioxide than the trips they displaced.
Tulsa rideshare drivers go on strike. ABC8 reported:
They’re striking because they say that they’re being treated unfairly by the companies they are working for, Uber and Lyft.
Some drivers say they’ve noticed discrepancies between what customers pay and the share paid to drivers.
According to one driver, it’s a trend that’s getting worse.
The StopClub app is a dream for drivers and a nightmare for Uber. Rest of World adds:
StopClub reads the fare directly from the ride-sharing app and displays the calculation. It can even automatically reject fares below a certain price set by the driver. Since it added the fare calculator, StopClub has gone from around 87,000 active users in February to 250,000 across Brazil.
Before downloading StopClub, he’d spend 120 reais (around $25) on gas per day. Now, he spends between 85 ($17) and 100 reais ($21). With StopClub, “it’s as if a blindfold has been removed from our eyes,” he said.
Uber Brazil took StopClub to court in July, claiming the app was illegally obtaining and storing confidential data related to passengers, drivers, and ride prices. It also alleged that StopClub was violating Uber’s copyright and competition rights. In response, StopClub said it doesn’t extract or store data. Instead, when Uber or 99 offer a ride to a driver, StopClub said it only reads the information shown on screen and executes a pre-programmed calculation. In late August, Uber lost its injunction to block the app.
Uber threatens to leave Brussels. FT reported:
A top Uber executive has warned that Brussels’ proposals to designate gig workers as de facto employees will force its ride-hailing service to shut down in hundreds of cities across the bloc and raise prices by as much as 40 per cent if enacted.
“If Brussels forces Uber to reclassify drivers and couriers across the EU, we could expect to see a 50–70 per cent reduction in the number of work opportunities,” Díaz said. This would cause Uber to cease operating in “hundreds” of the 3,000 cities across the EU that it serves today, she added.
She said Uber is “sincerely committed to the European social model” but warned that similar rulings classifying drivers as employees in Spain and Geneva have led to “devastating” job losses.
Robotrucks hit the Uber network. Forbes reported:
Big rigs outfitted with Waabi’s AI-enabled software and sensors began hauling loads between Dallas and Houston booked through Uber Freight this month, founder and CEO Raquel Urtasun told Forbes. The trucks have human backup drivers for now, but will eventually operate in full autonomous mode, she said. The Toronto-based company spent two years perfecting its system using virtual trucks driving in advanced simulation before testing them on public roads. Urtasun declined to say exactly how many trucks are part of the Uber Freight program or how much revenue the company will generate from it.