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'Uber' Articles

Uber Riders in Select Cities Can Now Buy Snacks, Electronics, and More Following Partnership With 'Cargo'

Uber this week announced a partnership with startup "Cargo," which aims to increase the wages of rideshare drivers by providing them with small containers filled with goods that riders can buy during their trips (via TechCrunch). Despite the new partnership with Uber, Cargo will still support drivers of other ridesharing apps. Cargo works by providing drivers with a free Cargo box filled with free products and free shipping on all product replenishments, as long as the driver has at least a 4.7 rating. When the rider gets in the car, they can browse which items are in their driver's Cargo box by opening the Cargo mobile site, add the products to their cart, and checkout on their smartphone. Payment methods supported include all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, and Paypal. “It’s always a pleasant surprise when you’re in an Uber and the driver offers you a bottle of water or a piece of gum, but up to this point these perks have usually been on the driver’s dime,” said Keith Hensley, Business Development Lead, Uber. “Cargo took note of this and created an innovative model that aims to bring new value to riders and drivers. We’re looking forward to working with Cargo to develop and scale in a way that makes the most sense for our customers.” When complete, drivers earn $1 per order and average $100 earnings per month, according to the company. Since its launch last summer, about 7,000 rideshare drivers have made more than $1 million with Cargo. On an annual basis, drivers earn an average of $1,200/year, and the top 10 percent of drivers make

Uber Updates iOS App With New Features Aimed at Simplifying Pickups

Uber today announced new tools for its iOS app that aim to simplify and streamline stressful pickup situations for both riders and drivers. To start, there's a new "Spotlight" feature that will light up the rider's iPhone display with a bright, color-specific hue. The driver will be notified to which color has been chosen, so when the rider holds their iPhone in the air they'll know exactly who to pick up. Uber has been testing such a system since late 2015 with technology that displayed a chosen color inside of the driver's car using a small mounted light. Those tests eventually became "Uber Beacons," which drivers can purchase to place in their vehicles so that riders can more easily find them. The ride-hailing company has also committed to a new guarantee for on-time scheduled pickups, promising riders that they'll make important appointments when setting a specific time and place for an upcoming Uber ride. If riders are ever late for an appointment, the company will give them Uber credit for their next ride. Lastly, Uber has added in short "Pickup Messages" that riders can send to their drivers and vice versa. The company says that riders can send helpful visual hints like details of clothing to drivers, and when the message is received the Uber Driver app reads it aloud so drivers aren't distracted. Uber first began allowing in-app chats between riders and drivers last August. Next, Uber says that users can expect more features and updates aimed at "taking the stress out of the experience" coming later this

Uber Announces Partners for Expansion Into Car Rentals and Public Transport

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi today announced a series of updates and expansions coming to the Uber mobile app, which will provide users with "a great variety of transportation modes" all in one place. Uber's new updates include the ability for customers to gain access to bikes, car rentals, and public transportation tickets, all in addition to the app's traditional ride-hailing services. To start, today the company is expanding "Uber Bike by JUMP" into Washington, DC, following an initial pilot in San Francisco in January. JUMP provides customers with "pedal-assist" electric bicycles to get to their destinations, which Uber says is "often faster" in cities with dense traffic. With the partnership, users can find and book a JUMP bike from within the Uber app. Later in April, Uber will launch "Uber Rent powered by Getaround" in San Francisco, allowing users to quickly and easily rent cars from people nearby. Through the integration with Getaround, the rental service's cars will be available "instantly" for rent in the Uber app, with rental periods lasting from hours to days and insurance included, according to Getaround. Getaround for iOS Lastly, Uber is partnering with Masabi to provide users the ability to book and use transit tickets within the Uber app. Masabi's mobile ticketing services will fuel the new feature in Uber so that customers can "seamlessly combine public transport with other transportation options," like ridesharing or the new bike rentals. Ultimately Khosrowshahi called the new series of updates to Uber a "new direction" for the

Uber and Waymo Agree to Settle Case Involving Uber's Alleged Theft of Self-Driving Technology

Over the past five days, Uber and Waymo have been entangled in a court case over Waymo's allegations that Uber stole its self-driving LiDAR system. Today, the two companies have announced that they reached a settlement agreement, under which Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 equity stake, "amounting to about $245 million at Uber's recent $72 billion valuation" (via CNBC). Additionally, Uber has agreed that it will not incorporate Waymo's self-driving technology into any of its own hardware or software. Alongside the settlement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a letter that the company "does not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber," nor that Waymo's tech was used by Uber in any way, but expressed regret for the ongoing trial over the past year and the events that led up to it. To be clear, while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work. While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward. I’ve told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber’s innovation and experience in self-driving technology. Waymo's lawsuit concerned Uber and its acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, with Waymo believing that employees at Otto

Uber's Latest App Update Restores Siri and Apple Maps Integrations

Uber yesterday updated its iPhone app, and while the release notes do not mention any specific changes, the latest version appears to re-enable the ability to request a vehicle for pickup using Siri or Apple Maps. After updating the Uber app, we were successfully able to ask Siri to hail us a ride, while tapping on the Ride tab in Apple Maps once again listed Uber as one of the ride-hailing services available alongside Lyft. While the Siri and Apple Maps integrations are working again in the United States, we encountered errors when trying to hail an Uber with Siri and Apple Maps in Toronto, Canada, where the features were previously supported. As noted by Christian Zibreg at iDB, some users may need to manually re-enable the Siri and Apple Maps integrations in Settings → Uber → Siri & Search and Settings → Maps under "Ride Booking Extensions." The ability to hail an Uber ride with Siri or Apple Maps had disappeared in late January following an earlier update to the Uber app. Both features were originally added in iOS 10, and it's unclear what prompted their temporary removal. Uber's app is available for free on the App Store

Uber's Siri and Apple Maps Integrations Have Disappeared

Uber's latest app update appears to have removed several important iOS integrations, with the service now unavailable to both Siri and Apple Maps. If you ask Siri to get you an Uber, a feature that has been available since the launch of iOS 10, Siri will say that Uber hasn't activated that feature. In the "Siri & Search" section of the Uber options in the Settings app, there's also no longer a "Use with Siri" toggle. Similarly, in Apple Maps, you can no longer select Uber as an option when choosing "Ride" when getting directions. This is also a feature that debuted in iOS 10. Both Siri and Apple Maps integrations are still available for other ride sharing apps like Lyft, so the problem seems to be with the Uber app rather than with Apple's services. The removal of both features was noticed by MacRumors readers and reddit users starting last week. It is not clear if Uber has deliberately removed these features or if it's a bug, and the company did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by MacRumors earlier this afternoon. We have also contacted Apple and will update this post when we hear back. Uber integration with Siri, enabled through the SiriKit API, was a much touted feature when iOS 10 first launched, as was Apple Maps integration. Both Apple and Uber heavily promoted the two options when iOS 10 rolled

Hackers Stole Data From 57 Million Uber Drivers and Customers, Uber Paid $100K to Hide Attack

Uber suffered a massive data breach last year that exposed the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers, reports Bloomberg. The attack occurred in October of 2016 and included personal information from 50 million Uber riders and 7 million Uber drivers. Two hackers reportedly accessed a private GitHub repository used by Uber's software engineers and then used those credentials to breach an Amazon Web Services account that contained an archive of rider and driver information. Email addresses and phone numbers were stolen from riders, while hackers were able to obtain email addresses, phone numbers, and driver's license numbers from drivers. Uber says social security numbers and trip location data were not accessed in the attack. Rather than disclosing the attack when Uber learned of it in November of 2016, the company instead paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep quiet about the breach. Uber did not disclose the identity of the hackers, but did say it believes the information was not used or otherwise sold. Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, says the attack and the coverup should not have happened, and that Uber is "changing the way we do business." Khosrowshahi says he is aiming to change the way Uber operates, and as part of that effort, Uber informed the FTC and attorney general about the attack this morning."At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals," Khosrowshahi said. "We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen

Uber Removing Apple-Granted API That Could Have Let it Record a User’s iPhone Screen [Updated]

When the Apple Watch was first released, Apple gave Uber what's known as an "entitlement" to run a special API to improve performance of the Uber app on the wrist worn device. That entitlement made headlines today when security researchers told Gizmodo that Uber could have used it to record a user's iPhone screen even with the Uber app just running in the background. In a statement, Uber said the entitlement was used for an old version of the Apple Watch app and was provided to Uber because the original Apple Watch couldn't render maps."It was used for an old version of the Apple Watch app, specifically to run the heavy lifting of rendering maps on your phone & then send the rendering to the Watch app," an Uber spokesperson told Gizmodo, saying that early Apple Watches couldn't handle this process alone. "This dependency was removed with previous improvements to Apple's OS & our app. Therefore, we're removing this API from our iOS codebase."The entitlement is no longer necessary and Uber is planning to remove it from the iOS codebase, according to both the statement given to Gizmodo and a tweet from Uber head of security and privacy communications Melanie Ensign. According to security researcher Will Strafach, who first brought attention to the issue, Apple does not often give out entitlements. Strafach said he could find no other apps on the App Store that have the permissions that the Uber app has. API was used to render Uber maps on iphone & send to Apple Watch before Watch apps could handle it. It's not in use & being removed. Thx!— Melanie Ensign

Uber App Offers Basic Sign Language Tips to Chat With Deaf or Hard of Hearing Drivers

Uber has rolled out an update to its iOS app that enables riders to learn basic sign language on the go so they can communicate better with deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers. Uber announced the new feature in a post on its website, where it said the ride-hailing service had "thousands" of deaf drivers in the United States alone, and that the update was in support of National Deaf Awareness Month. Riders will see a special card in the Uber feed. Once they tap it, they'll be taken to a page where they can select the basics, like "Hello" and "Thank You," or spell out their name. They'll then be given a GIF with the word(s) in ASL. That way, they can better communicate with their Deaf or Hard of Hearing driver, because signing "Thank You" or "Hello" in ASL can go a long way. Uber has actually included interface features for its hard of hearing drivers for the last couple of years, such as flashing screens for ride requests instead of audible notifications, and allowing drivers to receive texts rather than calls. But the latest feature, which currently only works in the U.S., will surely come as a welcome addition. The Uber app is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link

Uber Adding Feature to Let Drivers Provide More Rider Feedback

Uber today introduced a new feature for its iOS app that allows drivers to provide feedback when giving a rider a rating of less than five stars. As outlined by The Verge, drivers are now asked "what went wrong" when providing a four star rating or lower. Drivers can then choose from reasons like wait time, patience, number of riders, attitude, wanted a new route, or other. Riders who continue to receive much of the same feedback from multiple drivers may receive a notification from Uber letting them know about the low ratings and the reason behind them. Uber is also changing the way its UberPool service works in an effort to make the feature less stressful for drivers. UberPool allows passengers to choose a cheaper fare, but it's a shared ride with the potential for several passenger pickups. For UberPool rides, drivers will now receive an additional flat fare for each passenger picked up, and Uber says it is planning to pay much of the added cost for the trips through a service fee reduction. Riders will not pay more for a trip even if there are additional pickups. Uber in June launched a "180 Days of Change" initiative designed to improve working conditions for its drivers and bolster its public image, and today's changes are part of that effort. Uber has been introducing new driver features since then, starting with a long-desired in-app tipping option.

Uber Falls in Line With Settings in iOS 11 That Limit Use of Location Services

Uber has updated its iOS app to fall in line with new options in iOS 11 that let users limit an app's use of location services (via The Verge). With iOS 11 installed, it's possible to restrict the gathering of location data by any third-party app so that it can only access the device's location status when the app is in use. Uber has faced criticism in the past for tracking users' location even when they aren't using the service, while offering them only a binary choice of either allowing always-on tracking or turning it off altogether. Uber had argued that the tracking enhanced rider safety and said it restricted tracking to five minutes following a ride anyway, but many users cited the policy as a privacy concern. Good: with iOS 11, Uber had to support Location Services that monitor location only when using the app (This: https://t.co/SSf501S81d) pic.twitter.com/Oa7M0QXR3I— Federico Viticci (@viticci) September 20, 2017 With the latest update however, Uber has highlighted the fact that users can elect to share their location "While Using the App", "Always", or "Never". These options can be found in the Settings app under Privacy -> Location Services -> Uber. These permissions override any third-party app's settings, which should address users' concerns regarding similar

Uber to Pull Feature Allowing Riders to Be Tracked for Five Minutes After a Trip

In an effort to better protect user privacy and improve its image, Uber has decided to remove a background GPS tracking feature that allows riders to be tracked for up to five minutes after a ride ends, reports Reuters. Uber is expected to announce the privacy change starting on Tuesday, with the update expected to roll out to iPhone users this week. The same update will be made to Android devices in the future. The feature, which was first introduced in late 2016, has garnered a lot of criticism from Uber users. When location tracking is enabled for the Uber app (and location services is required for the app to properly function) Uber is able to collect location data from the time of a trip request through five minutes after the trip ends, even when the app is in the background. Uber says it planned to use the extra location data to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance customer service, but the company claims the post-trip tracking feature was never actually turned on for iPhone users. In an interview with Reuters, Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan said the update is unrelated to recent internal turmoil within the company, which saw Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ousted from the company."We've been building through the turmoil and challenges because we already had our mandate," said Sullivan, who is a member of the executive leadership team that has been co-running Uber since Kalanick left in June.Sullivan went on to say that the company should not have asked Uber users for more information without providing details on the value of

Uber Updates With In-App Chat Between Riders and Drivers

Ride hailing app Uber today announced an in-app chat feature that lets riders and drivers communicate with one another without leaving the app. Uber said this update allows drivers to better communicate with riders when sudden road closures or other delays happen en route to the rider's location. Riders can also send chats to drivers to indicate where they're waiting for the car, or give a distinct piece of clothing or accessory to allow the driver to easily identify them. To do so, riders can navigate to the Uber feed, tap "contact," and then tap "Chat," and when the driver gets the message the app will read it aloud to them automatically so they aren't distracted. A one-tap response feature sends a quick thumbs up to the rider so they know their message was read. Every great ride starts with the pickup, so we’re always thinking about ways to make the pickup experience as frictionless as possible for riders and drivers alike. That includes helping riders and drivers connect should they need to get in touch with one another to solve for things like road closures, or to just provide information on their exact location. So we’re adding a way for riders and drivers to chat right in the Uber app. It’s now easier than ever to get in touch. Speaking with TechCrunch, Uber product manager Jeremy Lermitte said this will help keep user data more private, because drivers and riders won't have to share personal contact information outside of Uber. Additionally, the company is considering adding the chat feature into other apps, including UberEATS. In-app chat is

Uber's In-App Tipping Feature Expands to 121 Cities Across North America

Uber in June announced plans for a "180 Days of Change" initiative that added a new long-desired tipping feature for drivers. Tipping was initially limited to Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston, but Uber said tips would be available to all U.S. drivers by the end of July, and the company is making good on that promise. Starting today, tipping is rolling out in 121 cities across North America, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and several cities in Canada. TechCrunch has a full list of all of the areas where tipping is now available. The tipping feature will continue to expand to additional cities throughout the month of July, and Uber says it is still planning to have the feature available to all U.S. drivers by the end of the month. Tips are optional for Uber riders, and the tipping screen will show up after a driver has been rated following the conclusion of a ride. Passengers have up to 30 days after a ride to provide a tip, and there are three custom preset tipping amounts ($1, $2, and $5) along with an option for a custom tip total. Uber long resisted tipping even as competitors like Lyft implemented tips for drivers, with the excuse that it kept the service hassle-free. Uber is now aiming to bolster its public image and improve working conditions for drivers through the addition of tipping and other "180 Days of Change" features, such as a per minute waiting fee for riders, a shorter cancellation window, and a new Driver Injury Protection insurance

Uber Users Can Now 'Request a Ride for a Loved One'

Uber yesterday introduced a new ride-hailing feature in its mobile app that lets users request a ride for a friend or family member in a different location. Uber announced the news in a blog post on its website, suggesting the feature would let users "request a ride for a loved one" such as a senior with limited mobility who doesn't have an Uber account or a smartphone. Now, when you set the pickup away from your current location, we'll automatically ask whether the ride is for a family member or friend. You can then select the rider from your address book, set their destination, and request the ride on their behalf.Once the ride is on its way, the loved one receives a text message with the driver's details and a link to track their route. The feature also includes an option for the rider to contact the driver directly, and vice versa. The feature is available now in over 30 countries, with more coming soon, according to Uber. The Uber app is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

Uber founder Travis Kalanick has resigned his position as CEO, following a series of controversies and scandals that have recently dogged the ride hailing company. Five major investors demanded Kalanick's immediate resignation on Tuesday in a letter delivered to the chief executive, according to The New York Times. After "long discussions" with some of the investors, Kalanick agreed to step down, but will reportedly stay on Uber's board and continue to hold the majority of voting shares. Kalanick recently took a leave of absence following the death of his mother. Kalanick at LeWeb Paris (Image by Adam Tinworth) "I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.Uber's board said in a statement that Kalanick had "always put Uber first" and that his resignation would give the company "room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber's history." An Uber spokesperson declined to comment further. The ride-hailing service clearly hopes that news of Kalanick's resignation will be perceived as a company reboot, as it attempts to revive its tarnished image following multiple controversies over recent months. Just last month it was revealed that the Department of Justice is investigating Uber over its use of "secret" software that allowed its drivers to operate in areas where the company was banned or restricted. The so-called "greyball" software is said to have

Uber App Gains Long-Desired Tipping Option

Uber today announced a new "180 Days of Change" initiative that's designed to improve working conditions for its drivers and bolster its public image. As part of the upcoming changes, Uber plans to implement tipping, a feature that drivers have long desired. Tipping is currently available in the Uber app in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston, with Uber pledging to add more cities over the next few weeks. Tips will be available to all U.S. drivers by the end of July, says the company. For end users, when a ride is complete, there's a new option alongside the star rating to add a tip of $1, $2, $5, or a custom amount. The new in-app tipping option is a huge change, as Uber has long resisted tipping with the excuse that it kept the service "hassle-free," even as competitors like Lyft implemented tips for drivers. Along with tipping, Uber also announced several other changes that are being implemented starting today. Driver Destination trips will count towards promotions and are available for all U.S. drivers, $2 has been added to the base fare for all teen account trips, drivers will earn a per minute fee for waiting over 2 minutes for riders, a cancellation fee will be implemented if a rider cancels after two minutes (it was 5 minutes), and there's a new Driver Injury Protection insurance option offered by Aon. Uber plans to announce and implement additional changes over the course of the next six

iOS 11 Users to Gain More Control Over Apps' Use of Location Services

Users of iOS 11 will be able to restrict the gathering of location data by any third-party app so that it can only access the device's location status when the app is in use. Previously the security setting only applied to certain apps that chose to offer it – as well as to developers wanting to test their own app's use of location data – but it appears Apple is extending the setting for any installed app in iOS 11, potentially handing an additional element of privacy back to the end user. All apps have While Using the App option for location access in iOS 11! Nicely done @apple. pic.twitter.com/f3Z3WTKGur— Chengyin Liu (@chengyinliu) 6 June 2017 The new setting in iOS 11 should come as a welcome change for many, given that the use of device location data by some apps has been a point of controversy. For example, Uber has been criticized for forcing users to grant its app full access to location services whether it is open or not, which has been construed by some as creepy or invasive location gathering. The new setting should also improve the battery life of devices that update to iOS 11, since it puts a limit on the amount of time GPS is activated by apps in the background. (Via TechCrunch

Apple Music Marketing Exec Bozoma Saint John Reportedly Leaving Apple for Uber [Updated]

Last week, news came out that Bozoma Saint John -- Apple Music and iTunes head of Global Consumer Marketing -- was planning to leave Apple, without any indication given as to why Saint John was leaving Apple or where she planned on working next. TechCrunch is today reporting that the former Apple executive is now looking to head to Uber, although her specific role at the ride-hailing company is unclear. Given Saint John's background in marketing, a similar position is predicted for her at Uber. According to sources, Uber is looking at Saint John's hiring as a way to "turn the tide on recent issues," suggesting that she might be coming in to help shift the negative spotlight placed on Uber in recent months. We received the news via a tip, and have confirmed the appointment through multiple sources at Uber. The company, we understand, views the appointment as important in helping “turn the tide on recent issues.” As for what role she will be taking, that’s something we’re still trying to figure out. We understand that Uber will be making more details public later. Saint John’s track record is in marketing — most recently at Apple but also with a long stint at Pepsi, among other places. Over the past few months public opinion regarding Uber and its company culture has been largely negative online. The backlash against Uber reached new heights in January, when users began a #DeleteUber hashtag on Twitter in response to Uber's decision to keep up and running throughout the strike at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where protesters fought against

Uber Fires Engineer Accused of Stealing Self-Driving Secrets From Waymo

In the ongoing legal battle between Uber and Alphabet-owned Waymo, Uber announced this week that it has fired Anthony Levandowski, the engineer accused of stealing Waymo's self-driving intellectual property when he left his job at Google to start his own company, Otto (via The New York Times). In the original lawsuit, Waymo claimed that when Uber acquired Otto, Levandowski's stolen trade secrets came with the purchase, mainly centering around Waymo's LiDAR system. In the months following Waymo's filing, Uber denied the accusations and "pressured Mr. Levandowski to cooperate" with the court. When he was ordered by a federal judge to give the court any evidence related to Waymo's accusations, as well as a testimony, he was said to have asserted his Fifth Amendment rights in order to avoid self-incrimination. The judge gave Levandowski an internal deadline to hand over the evidence in question, and when he missed it Uber decided to fire him. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (left) and former employee Anthony Levandowski (right) According to legal analysts watching the case, if Levandowski continued to be employed by Uber, "the company risked being tarnished...as if it were indirectly condoning his actions." “Over the last few months Uber has provided significant evidence to the court to demonstrate that our self-driving technology has been built independently,” Angela L. Padilla, Uber’s associate general counsel for employment and litigation, wrote in an email to employees. “Over that same period, Uber has urged Anthony to fully cooperate in helping the court get to