On Thursday, Uber agreed to pay the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $US20 million ($26 million) over claims it misled prospective drivers, recruiting them with ads that inflated typical earnings and mischaracterised the terms of its vehicle financing program.
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Last week, California's Department of Motor Vehicles told Uber it "must cease" operating its fleet of semi-autonomous cars in San Francisco, threatening unspecified consequences if it failed to do so. Uber continued the pilot program in defiance of the warning, but today the state finally made good on its threat.
In 2009, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman spoke to a reporter about the excessive expectations that some people draw from movies. He highlighted how some hope for a life that mirrors Hollywood, and are eventually let down by reality. In the car world, autonomy is pegged as the ideal future, but will it happen as soon as our tech overlords say it will?
Just hours after Uber launched a fleet of semi-autonomous cars in San Francisco, state regulators sent the company a letter saying it "must cease" the pilot program on Wednesday, threatening unspecified legal action if they do not, the Associated Press reports.
Earlier today, Uber rolled out a fleet of its not-really-self-driving cars in San Francisco. A few hours later, one the XC90s — a Volvo equipped with seven cameras, laser detection systems and slew of other expensive stuff — appears to have completely ignored a red light on a busy, multi-lane street.
Before it gets rid of its drivers altogether, Uber is trying to make nice with them. But instead of paying them more or giving riders the ability to give them a tip, they're rewarding them with "compliments". Because if there's one thing unrepentant capitalism is good for, it's an imaginary reward system!
Uber is getting its first proper update in five years. The completely redesigned app will let Uber passengers quickly choose their destination — including shortcuts for regular trips, your calendar appointments, and to meet up with any friends that also use the app. It'll also show you how much you'll pay upfront, and give you a reasonably accurate guess at when you'll get to where you want.
Uber is partnering with the car-sharing service Maven (which is owned and operated by General Motors) to let Uber drivers rent GM vehicles on a weekly basis. The business will cost drivers $US179 ($234) plus taxes and fees, and driver will not incur any extra fees for using the car for personal use.
Following a launch in Melbourne in April and Sydney in August, UberEATS is finally making its way to the other areas of Australia already well-served by Uber ridesharing. Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. It's no surprise to hear that Uber is pushing all the way around Australia, too — Melbourne is one of the most popular cities for UberEATS in the world, and a particular Greek wrap from George Calombaris' Jimmy Grants is the world's most popular UberEATS delivery.
Lyft — the ridesharing app that is unavailable in Australia — does something a lot of tech companies do: It runs a blog. It's where the company publicly celebrates its own excellence, for things like new features and anniversaries. It's also where, earlier this month, a story appeared praising one of the company's drivers for picking up a rider while en route to the hospital to give birth.