Denise can't exactly remember the number of stops she made driving an Uber passenger who needed to run a bunch of errands -- fast. "He needed to go from A to B, then B to C, then C back to A again," says Denise, who doesn't want to use her last name. "He told me, 'Oh my God, I'm so glad you're doing this. You're making my day so much easier.'" She drove him around Los Angeles for more than 90 minutes, yet traveled only 35 miles or so in that time. And since Uber primarily uses mileage to calculate its fares, the ride didn't cost much. The grateful passenger said he wanted to give her a big tip: $20. He tapped the tip into the app -- and paused, "You gotta be kidding me," he told her. "It's saying it's over the limit." Uber's app refused to let Denise's passenger tip $20 (or more), and he didn't have any cash on him. He ended up giving her the most the app would allow: $14.80. Denise has been a full-time Uber driver for six years and never saw a tip limit before. But then, it's … [Read more...] about Uber has a tip limit? That’s news to drivers
Accident with uber driver
Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick said Tuesday he's taking a leave of absence. The news comes after an independent investigation recommended that changes to senior leadership are needed to mitigate the slew of scandals that have plagued the ride-hailing company over the past several months. "The ultimate responsibility, for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders," Kalanick, 40, wrote in a memo to Uber employees. "For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve." The announcement casts a cloud over Uber's future. The company, founded in 2009, managed to upend the taxi industry and become the world's most valuable startup, with a valuation of $68 billion. With its no-apologies attitude and notoriously aggressive co-founder, Uber is … [Read more...] about Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes leave amid wave of scandals
The night of December 5, 2014, an Indian woman in her mid-20s sent an email to Uber support: I was raped. She'd just been deposited on a street corner on the outskirts of Delhi, India, bleeding, bruised and covered in bite marks, according to her court documents. Her assailant, she claims, was a man named Shiv Kumar Yadav, 32, an Uber driver she'd hired to take her home after she'd had dinner with a friend. The drive normally takes about an hour, according to her court statement, so she fell asleep as they sped through the night. She woke, she said, to find Yadav on top of her with his hands around her neck, threatening to kill her if she didn't stop shouting. He then beat, raped and sodomized her. According to Delhi police, Yadav confessed to the crime one week later during interrogations. Criminal proceedings are currently under way. The attack against the woman, who has chosen to keep her name confidential, garnered international attention and prompted officials in … [Read more...] about Can one woman change the way Uber operates?
Sunday marked a turning point for self-driving cars. For the first time, a car in full autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian. It happened at 10 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona, where ride-hailing company Uber had been picking up passengers in autonomous vehicles for more than a year. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle down a four-lane road and was starting to cross when the gray Volvo, operated by Uber, hit her at about 40 mph, according to local police. It's believed Herzberg was homeless. She was pronounced dead by the time she reached the hospital. Although the car was driving itself, Uber vehicle operator Rafaela Vasquez, 44, was behind the wheel. "Our investigation did not show at this time that there were significant signs of the vehicle slowing down," Tempe Police Sgt. Roland Elcock said in a press conference Monday. The police are "going to attempt to find who was at fault and how we can better be safe," he added. The Tempe police on Wednesday released a video of the … [Read more...] about Are driverless cars safe? Uber fatality raises questions
Anthony Levandowski, the controversial former Google engineer at the center of the major lawsuit between Uber and Waymo over trade secrets last year, is the subject of a new extensive, scathing, head-spinning story featured in this month’s New Yorker. One of the many incredible details is an alleged crash where Levandowski took a self-driving car where it wasn’t meant to go, resulting in a Google exec getting severely injured. The story, written by Pulitzer-winning writer Charles Duhigg, alleges that Levandowski modified the software on Google’s fleet of self-driving cars so that they could be taken on otherwise off-limits routes while another executive involved in the project, Isaac Taylor, was on paternity leave back in 2011. When Taylor learned about the changes after his return him and Levandowski got in a shouting argument before Levandowski encouraged Taylor to go for a ride in one of the modified cars with him. While out on the road, the self-driving car got … [Read more...] about The Engineer in the Google vs. Uber ‘Stolen Tech’ Case Really Was Terrible