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Technology/Uber

Bring Your Selfie to Work Day: Uber Proposes New Driving Solution

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It’s clear that Uber is the best way to get around. The company has been a fantastic hit since it was created and it’s easy to use. It’s cheap, affordable and incredibly easy to hail a cab. No matter how close or far you’re going, Uber is perfect for you. But what happens if you’re driving and you get someone else who isn’t your Uber driver? What happens if someone else takes their place and claims to be them? Now you’ll know, Uber says, with “driver selfies.”

Drivers will be required to take occasional selfies so that way Uber knows that they are actually the ones who started driving the car, and the ones who Uber hired.

This is a great way for Uber to make sure that it actually sends out who it says it is sending. Many people would be uncomfortable if they got message that one person was coming but someone else showed up. It’d be like your grandma saying she was coming for dinner but finding out it was actually your mother upon arrival. Awkward at best, a liability at worst. This is why Uber has decided it is important to address this issue as quickly as possible, and they’ve decided to address the issue by doing “selfie checks.”

The selfie check has been in place in some places for a few months now, but it is rolling out to all of the states in the USA soon. That means that the person you see when you get your ride call is actually the person who you will be riding with, making the process smoother for everyone. It’s just another way that Uber is trying to get ahead in the competition of cars.

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Technology/Google/Uber

Is Google Going to Compete with Uber?

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Google is involved in a host of different industries and services. Some of the ventures Google is involved with may surprise those who only think of the tech giant as home to the world’s biggest search engine. Likely, the biggest surprise would be the news Google is going to venture into the ride-sharing realm and give Uber some competition.

Google’s rollout of its new service is going to be fairly small. Instead of launching a ride-sharing version of a taxi service – the business model Uber and Lift employ – Google is just going to help people in San Francisco get to work. Well, that is going to be the plan for right now. In time, things are surely going to change if the minimalist version of the project takes off.

Is there really any money in this type of service though? Uber reportedly noted a major loss. Profitable or not, Uber does have a solid base of customers who rely consistently on the money saving service. Google must feel there is enormous potential in the Uber business model of the multi-billion dollar corporation would not be interested in getting involved with it.

Someone at Google may be looking at Uber and saying “This company could do so much better if only there was a better marketing campaign”. There may even be several areas in which Google feels in can improve upon the Uber or Lift model. By testing the waters, Google can see if this is worth venturing into. Test runs also open doors for making adjustments and changes.

Whatever Google’s plans are, the plans are likely huge. Google doesn’t do things on a small scale. For now, things may remain localized and only deal with the San Francisco area. If Google is thinking about venturing into this type of business, it probably has global intentions in mind.

One thing Google has going for it is a name. Not everyone may be interested in booking through Uber out of fears and concerns the company cannot be trusted. Google, however, has long since established credibility with consumers. As a result, there should end up being a lot more people who are agreeable to calling on a Google-owned ride company.

Google/Uber/Lyft/Ridesharing Service

Google Opens Its Own Ridesharing Service To Rival Uber and Lyft

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Those who thought that the intensely competitive ridesharing industry may not see a major competitor are in for a surprise as Google has decided to challenge Uber and Lyft. According to reliable sources who have worked at the backstage of Google project, the company is likely to launch its Waze App project as soon as the coming fall season. Traditionally, the rideshare industry was dominated by Uber, which has a total market value of approximately $68 billion dollars. In fact, Uber regularly faced fierce competition from another rival based in the same locality, Lyft. Now, it seems that the tide is again turning as Uber and Lyft will face yet another major competitor from their own turf.

The new ridesharing program by Google is not an instantaneous decision. Inline with the company’s culture, Google was already evaluating the program by allowing workers in specific companies to try ridesharing using the Waze App software. Only after careful evaluation, the company has planned to challenge Uber. Regarding the competitive advantage, Google is trying to be different by offering a low cost alternative to either Uber or Lyft. As such, it is estimated that the ridesharing will cost approximately $0.53 per mile to consumers, which is lower than Google’s competitors. Reports suggest that Google’s business model does not rely on the typical taxi-service models offered by Uber. Instead, users are matched with other people in the area who are going in the same direction. Therefore, it seems that the model is more identical to carpooling instead of the usual taxi-service.

News from inside sources also indicate that the new service will count on taking advantage of the tax-break. As a typical driver will not operate a professional service such as Uber taxi, therefore the service should be seen as “sharing the gas money” instead of developing a taxi business. Interestingly, it is notable that Uber is also aware of the plan because Google had invested nearly $238 million in Uber service, back in 2013. To counter such threats, Uber is challenging Google in relevant areas as the company plans to operate the first driver-less taxi service in Pittsburgh, later this year. As for Google, it is yet to be seen how Waze App will confront challenges regarding security issues of carpooling with someone who is not a professional per se.

Technology/Apps/Uber/Security and Safety

Driver Safety Features Added to Uber App

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Uber has recently announced that new safety features will be implemented within the driver version of their popular ride-sharing app. One of these features will send out reminders to drivers that have been working for too long to take a break. These reminders will first be implemented across 11 cities as part of a pilot project to improve safety and prevent accidents due to tired drivers.

This is not the first time that Uber has taken measures to combat driver fatigue. Previously, there were Uber drivers who reported being on the road for as much as 17 hours at a time, which has some obvious safety implications for their passengers. In 2016, the company limited the shifts of drivers in New York City to 12 hours.

Another new feature added by Uber is having the app collect various driving metrics and send daily reports to its drivers. This lets them see how they’re doing in relation to other drivers in their city. The report may include information about how many times they’ve engaged in practices that may be dangerous, such as taking turns too fast or breaking sharply. A speed display based on the phone’s GPS will also be included, together with a safety reminder that uses the phone’s gyroscope to detect whether a driver is holding their phone in their hands while driving. The app will then display a message telling the driver that a mounted phone holder would be much safer.

These new features are part of Uber’s efforts to show the public that their service is safe. The app has been controversial in some areas, as Uber drivers are freelancers and the company has little control over how they behave and how safely they drive when they transport a customer.

Technology/Internet Stuff/Uber/Security and Safety

Uber’s New App for Drivers Enhances Safety but Does It Violate Privacy?

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Uber Technologies adds a ton of new safety features to its new app for drivers. It will start tracking various aspects of driver behavior, such as speeding and noting when drivers go too long without a break. In 2016, Uber began enforcing drivers in New York City to take a break if they have been driving for more than 12 hours at a time. Some drivers had been driving as much as 17 hours without a break before Uber began enforcing 12-hour shifts. Driving for long periods of time is quite dangerous for the drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other cars on the road. Although Uber drivers provide rides to millions of customers a year, the small number of violence and accidents are highlighted in the media and significantly affect the public’s perception of Uber. Uber wants to ensure that the public thinks of the ride-sharing service as safe, according to TechCrunch.

The app works by monitoring sensors in the driver’s’ smartphones to gather various data. Some of the features of the app include daily driving reports, break reminders. It also monitors dangerous driving behaviors, such as accelerating through turns too fast or braking too harshly. In addition, the app can tell if a driver is holding their cell phone and remind them to use a dash mounted display. It can also sense if a driver is impaired.

Uber has received some backlash on the app, as it raises concerns about driver privacy. Uber’s drivers are not employees, rather they are independent contractors. Uber’s goal is to provide feedback to help their drivers become better at their jobs and improve safety not violate driver privacy, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Investments/Marketing/Toyota/Uber

Toyota Extends Its Market Through Investing In Uber

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Toyota, an automobile manufacturing company, has settled its bid to invest in the Uber app in the current market. Toyota has revealed an optimistic plan to invest in Uber so that they can also harness the investment profits from the app. Uber has been in the market, and it has turned around the market in the form of technology innovations.

The Japanese based automaker is the latest company to invest in the app led industry alongside Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership. Uber drivers will have the advantage of leasing vehicles and repaying it with the money that is earned from the proceedings of driving.

It is a duo strategy because both parties that are involved will be benefiting from the deal. As the Uber drivers will be able to access the credit facilities, Toyota will be able to market their products and have a way of selling more vehicles into the market. It is one of the strategies that will make the automobile industry improve its sales and likewise revenue.

Uber drivers and riders are also advantaged since they will be receiving the best services as there would be more drivers available. The drivers will also increase their income since their app will be marketed to more people in the economy. Technology is improving the entire industry as many riders are finding the service easy to use.

Toyota will receive a wider market because the app is currently spreading to more countries than it was expected. Uber has been positively accepted as it has changed the way riders used to get drivers for use.