After shutting down their Austin operations over a year ago, Uber and Lyft are finally reentering city limits.
Tagged With uber
A lot of people get fired from Uber. One employee was reportedly fired last year for helping his female coworkers raise complaints about sexual harassment. Drivers get deactivated from the platform if their ratings slip below a certain number (Uber says the minimum rating varies by city, but driver forums say dipping below a 4.6 out of 5 is enough for deactivation). Even executives sometimes get axed — Uber senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal was asked to resign after sexual harassment allegations against him at a former job became public.
The ever-expanding operations of Uber are defined by two interlocking and zealously guarded sets of information: The things the world-dominating ride-hailing company knows about you, and the things it doesn't want you to know about it. Both kinds of secrets have been in play in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco, as Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator for Uber, has pursued a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the company.
Waymo quietly dropped several of the patent claims in its explosive lawsuit against Uber yesterday, admitting in a new court filing that although it stands behind its allegations of trade secret theft and may pursue new patent claims later, it isn't moving forward with its current patent infringement claims against one of Uber's LIDAR devices.
Uber's currently ensnared in a legal battle with Google's parent company Alphabet over its self-driving car designs, but the ride-hailing behemoth doesn't seem to be slowing down just yet. The company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, posted a photo over the weekend of a large semi that appears to be the first look at its long-hauling truck effort, Uber Freight.
Despite his company's litany of problems, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was supposed to appear onstage at Code Conference, a fancy tech gathering, at the end of May. It would have been a good time for the yelling executive to weigh in on the allegations of sexual harassment at his company, the ongoing investigation into those claims, the assorted lawsuits Uber faces from its competitors, and the fact that a ton of high-profile employees — even PR flacks — are headed for the exit.
Travis Kalanick's "brother from another mother", Anthony Levandowski, has officially stepped down from leading Uber's self-driving car division. Levandowski is a key player in a lawsuit filed by his former employer, Google, that claims he stole tech that Uber is incorporating into its cars. This isn't a minor legal proceeding. It could prove to be fatal for the ride-sharing startup.
Today, people know Uber as a bloated, embattled, and probably evil transportation company. But seven years ago, it was a brand-new startup still beta-testing its iPhone app and beginning to market its service. If the company's old YouTube channel is any indication, however, it's a damn miracle that Uber lasted more than a year.
Controversial Uber CEO Travis Kalanick received a career retrospective profile in the New York Times today that covers his awkward early years and his propensity to invite conflict. Among the new information that it reveals, there's an enlightening story about the time Tim Cook had to summon Kalanick after discovering that Uber was still tracking iPhones after its app had been deleted.
It looks like Uber's toxic work culture is so awful, it's going to take even longer for the company to fully investigate it. According to a new Recode report, Uber just extended its internal investigation into sexual harassment claims at the company. The internal report is now expected by the end of May.
If you follow news about Uber at all, you'll know it's been a difficult year for the company. From revelations about a culture of sexual harassment, to a creepy program to track government regulators, to leaked footage of CEO Travis Kalanick cussing out a driver, it can't have been a fun few months in the Uber office. But difficult times don't mean you can't be a #CoolDude.
Career counsellors are probably telling kids these days to learn how to code or become proficient in Mandarin, but the field of public relations is in dire need of some talent. Companies like Pepsi and United Airlines had major fires to put out in the last week, but no corporation seems to get themselves in trouble as often as Uber. And now, it's lost the person who is paid to make those problems go away.
Yesterday, some Uber drivers in Melbourne — part of the RideShare Drivers United group — didn't switch on their Uber apps to take fares from the early morning until afternoon. While it's not immediately clear how effective the protest was, it highlights one of the potential flaws in Uber's plan to conquer the world with ride-sharing: if drivers aren't happy, they just won't turn up.
Last month Google filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that the ridesharing company colluded with a former Google engineer to steal trade secrets and proprietary designs from the Waymo self-driving car unit. Yesterday, Uber's lawyers filed a motion to move the case into the dark hole of arbitration.