Uber

The Florida Senate is poised to pass a bill that accommodates ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft by not subjecting them to a medley of laws imposed by local governments.


Waymo, the company that began as Google's self-driving-car project, is suing Uber — alleging that when Uber bought a startup founded by Waymo veterans, it also bought thousands of design files that had been inappropriately downloaded from its servers.

In its lawsuit, Waymo cites forensic evidence as well as a vendor's email that it received by mistake.

On Sunday, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Rigetti published a post on her blog entitled "Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber." On her first day working on her new team at Uber, Rigetti says, her manager sent her a string of messages propositioning her on the company chat. She says she took screenshots of the conversations, and brought them to Uber's HR department, saying she expected the matter would be handled quickly and appropriately. And from her account, it was not.

A bill preventing local governments from regulating what sponsors are calling transportation network companies is moving in the House, with major backers Uber and Lyft confident it will pass.

A Miami appeals court is siding with Governor Rick Scott and San Francisco-based technology giant Uber in a dispute over the status of part-time drivers. 

The Third District Court of Appeals in Miami has decided Uber drivers are independent contractors and not employees and therefore not eligible for unemployment benefits.

The ruling cites a standard Uber contract requiring drivers to acknowledge that they are independent contractors. The driver argued Uber controls almost every aspect of his performance and had the right to fire him.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are now working as contractors for the rapidly growing ride-hailing industry, specifically for the largest companies, Uber and Lyft. But a new survey, released this week, finds that Lyft, with its fluorescent pink mustache symbol, is more popular with drivers.

Uber has started offering rides in self-driving cars in San Francisco without a permit for autonomous vehicles — defying state regulators, who say the permit is mandatory.

Uber's self-driving Volvos, which are operated with a "safety driver" behind the wheel, have already been deployed in Pittsburgh. They hit the roads in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Uber's latest update allows the ride-hailing app to track user location data even when the application is running in the background. The change in location data gathering is quite apparent — after the update is completed, Uber prompts users to accept the new policy by enabling their phones to make the change.

When Patricia Gentile was settling in as the new president of North Shore Community College in Massachusetts — about twenty miles north of Boston — she remembers looking out her window and seeing something strange.

"All of these cars rolling up, and tons of folks getting in and out," Gentile says, thinking about that January day a couple years ago.

"So I asked my assistant, 'What's going on down there?' "

Turns out that's where students were picked up and dropped off, but Gentile wondered why there were just so many cars.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN

Miami-Dade County taxi drivers protested Tuesday outside Government Center Station in Downtown Miami, for equal rights as they compete with new ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. 



Since companies like Uber and Lyft started legal operations in Miami-Dade County last May, cabbies have struggled to keep up with what they call cheaper and more unregulated competition.



“Since Uber came to Miami-Dade County we lost everything,” Jean Jules, a single father of two and taxicab driver in Miami, said.

The U.S. government wants to help you take your hands off the wheel.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which outlines how manufacturers and developers can ensure safe design of driverless vehicles, tells states what responsibilities they will have and points out potential new tools for ensuring safety.

Uber.com

A revolution in South Florida began in early June 2014. That revolution is due to end this week. It’s a change in how we hire and pay someone we don’t know to drive us someplace.

 

It was almost two years ago that Uber launched its service in Miami-Dade County. Uber began three weeks after competitor Lyft started it’s own app-based transportation service, but quickly came to dominate the market throughout South Florida for both riders tapping on its app and drivers signing up to drive passengers in their own cars.

 

tallahassee.com

For almost two years, Uber and and Lyft have all but ignored the rules regulating the taxi industry and operated anyway.

Last year, Palm Beach and Broward counties okayed a set of rules making transportation network companies -- as they call themselves --- legal. This week, Miami-Dade took the first step toward doing the same.

It's actually the second time the Miami-Dade commission has moved toward allowing Uber and others to operate legally. The first effort was successfully stopped by the taxi industry.

Caitlin Granfield / WLRN

Miami-Dade County commissioners on Wednesday granted preliminary approval to a proposed ordinance that would legalize ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

 

The approval came after Commission Chair Jean Monestime unexpectedly withdrew a competing proposal before the commission meeting on Wednesday morning. Uber and its drivers had strongly opposed Monestime's proposal, which the company said would "make it impossible" to operate in Miami-Dade County.

 

A new poll shows that a majority of Floridians think that ride sharing services should be regulated.  

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