Category Archives: Uber all up in this

Uber/Lyft drivers just wanna be taxi drivers

If Uber is so cool and taxis are so lame, why do so many Uber drivers try to turn their cars into taxis?

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Used to see this one around for a while. Not so much anymore. Guess they got tired of being mascots for a lost cause.

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A few touches here are there to make sure the car is branded just right…

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This guy is the chicken dinner winner of the dipshit Uber mascots. Willing to bet he’s since painted this over.

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Creepy Uber driver with a little Uber toplight.

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Not sure what’s more pathetic, the personalized license plate advertising Uber or that the driver actually thinks people love Uber.

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Even drivers who don’t brand their cars covet what taxi drivers get without question: tips. This guy is so desperate for them he’s willing to offer free water, phone chargers, jerk off cream and dental care.

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The silver Prius with the SpoonRocket car topper placed like a taxi toplight. He was all over town for several months…

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Until he was eventually run out of town when confronted by a group of taxi drivers and the SFPD.

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Whatever the fuck this guy is up to, he’s got all the bases covered.

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Company branding for SF Pride. Rainbow spots? Like a pox?

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Uber’s “self-driving” cars are so desperate for attention…

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A self-driving car looks like a futuristic taxi… At some point, they’ll probably cover the sensors with ad boards. Because why not?

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For Halloween one year, I was a Lyft driver. It was scary. And all I did was confuse people.

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As Uber/Lyft drivers complete the transformation into half-assed taxi drivers , they’ll start refusing to provide service unless the circumstances are exactly to their liking, just like the taxi drivers did before Uber and Lyft, and the golden age of the passenger will come to a screeching halt. I think we can all agree on one thing: that day can’t come soon enough.

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Uber

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An op-ed about the latest #DeleteUber trend. From Broke-Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website.

Ahhh… there’s nothing like waking up to a good Boycott Uber movement. The joy of seeing their louche brand dragged through the mud is always exhilarating. But it’s fleeting. Because the latest #DeleteUber trend, like every other wave of public outrage directed at the company in the past, will eventually fizzle away and be forgotten.

So what if Uber CEO Travis Kalanick agreed to join a Trump advisory group… So what if Kalanick defended this position by stating that they would “partner with anyone in the world,” even if – apparently – their policies threaten global stability… So what if Uber crossed picket lines during a protest of Trump’s Muslim ban at JFK airport… So what if they deactivated surge pricing and – sort of – said they were sorry…

That’s some fucked-up shit. But they’ve been doing fucked-up shit from day one.

Read the rest here.

[image via]

Bring on the Self-Driving Ubers

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The news last week that Uber had unleashed a fleet of driverless vehicles in San Francisco — much like the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s recent announcement that Uber and Lyft are causing most of The City’s traffic congestion — was met by the majority of taxi drivers with a resounding: “Uh doy!”

We’ve been seeing these vehicles, as well as others outfitted with antennas and various gadgets, for months. The other day, I drove past an 18-wheeler run by OTTO, a company recently acquired by Uber that’s developing autonomous big-rigs.

Uber’s official roll out last on December 14, however, didn’t go as planned. By that afternoon, someone had photographed one of their self-driving cars almost running into an intersection on Van Ness, and a Luxor cab recorded video of another one blowing through a red light in front of SFMOMA, narrowly missing a pedestrian.

In the media feeding frenzy that followed, Uber blamed the mishaps on human error. OK. But if they can’t train humans to obey traffic laws, what does that say about their ability to create driverless cars?

Personally, I’d much rather share the road with automated vehicles than the typical inexperienced, out-of-town drivers who disrupt the flow of traffic. If Uber’s hiccup of a launch last week proved anything, it’s that the problem really is — in their own words — “the other dude in the car.”

As anyone who has spent a significant amount of time driving in San Francisco can attest, most Uber drivers are totally unpredictable, usually confused and potentially unhinged psychopaths…

Read the rest of this column, including my experience with a crazy Uber driver here.

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Don’t let the door hit you on the way out: Uber’s fleet of self-driving cars leave San Francisco… transported to Arizona, appropriately enough, on semi-autonomous semis.

This column generated some Facebook love:

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Self-Driving Uber Car on the Streets of San Francisco

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Spotted on Harrison between 7th and 8th, one of Uber’s self-driving cars. Notice the Pennsylvania plates. There were two people up front and two in the back. When the light turned green, the other cars took off, while the self-driving car didn’t seem to move. 

A fleet of Uber’s self-driving cars were released onto the streets of Pittsburgh last week with limited autonomous features. A driver is always in the front seat with his hands on the wheel as a technician sits shotgun. After watching multiple videos from tech sites and news sources, I can’t say I was impressed. 

After all, there’s only so much a driverless car can do:

 

Oh, those bad, sleazy taxi medallion owners…

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This discussion with Bradley Tusk, an Uber advisor, about how Airbnb is making mistakes in how they deal with local governments by suing San Francisco over the enforcement of legislation they helped create was somewhat interesting… I was just starting to think this Tusk guy was smart and then he mentions the medallion system and it’s obvious he has no clue how the taxi industry works, just talking out of a hole in his ass.

Tusk may know about tech and VC speculation, but he knows shit about the taxi industry.

Medallion holders are the working class stiffs, you fucking asshole. The owners of the cab companies may be scum, or just ignorant old men, but it’s a sign of the rampant arrogance of Uber to discuss things like taxi medallions with no understanding of them whatsoever. 

As always, tech reporting fails to be real journalism…

Click bait: the new normal:

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T.J. Miller of TV Show Silicon Valley Skewers Travis Kalanick

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T.J. Miller, the actor who plays Erlich Bachman on HBO’s Silicon Valley, was interviewed by Esquire recently and lambasted the tech culture of Silicon Valley for not “getting it.”

He goes on to blast Uber CEO Travis Kalanick:

At the Crunchies everyone was like, “That’s Travis Kalanick’s girlfriend.” I was like, “Who is that?” And they were like, “What!? The guy from Uber!” They’re all kind of walking around with too much money, but [they have] great ideas sometimes. But Uber is a horrible company. They’re horrible to their drivers. And because it’s a new frontier, they can play by their own rules. They just squeeze the drivers for everything. They’re just increasing the IPO so Travis Kalanick can jack off to it at night, I guess?

T.J. Miller isn’t the funniest guy, but he sure does love to rag on techies.

When You Ride with Uber, You Ride into The Unknown

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When you get in an Uber, you have no way of knowing whose car you’re getting into. It could be anyone. Even a mass murderer.

It’s easy to jump on this horrible tragedy and make it Uber’s fault. Jason Dalton was obviously mentally ill before he started driving for Uber and went on his killing spree that left six dead and two critically injured. Plus, he’d only been doing Uber for a short while. His ratings weren’t even that good. And since he hadn’t been driving long, the recent price cuts couldn’t have possibly sent him over the edge.

Still, the fact remains: had Dalton been in a taxi, with all the associated identifying markings of a taxi, his wanton murders while picking up fares wouldn’t have lasted six to seven fucking hours before he was apprehended.

A taxi would have been easily identified and located almost immediately. Taxis are painted in bright colors, have top lights, phone numbers, cab numbers, permits and other easily identifiable markings that would have made it a cinch to find him after the first shooting occurred.

In San Francisco, taxis even have numbers on their hoods and roofs so they can be identified from air. Not to mention that drivers go to an office to pick up the keys to their cabs. They are vetted daily and their behavior is monitored by staff of the cab company as well as other drivers.

Cabs also have GPS trackers in them. Two-way radios. And there are always other taxi drivers on the streets who can be notified to look out for each other. It’s very difficult to drive a taxi under the radar.

Uber drivers, conversely, are lone wolves. They are only governed by the response of their passengers, which, in this case, didn’t work. Not even when passengers called 911.

People who think they’re safe in an Uber (or a Lyft) are fooling themselves.

At least Uber has finally admitted in court they are not as safe as cabs. Cause even though Dalton had a long history of driving violations, he passed Uber’s “industry-leading” background checks.

So now, when you get in an Uber, you are literally getting into a car with someone who could possibly be a mass murderer.

Sadly, I doubt this incident, or the many, many others, will stop most people from using Uber. Because… well, most people are stupid and lazy.

Photo by Trevor Johnson.