Uber will pay $290 million (3 percent of its revenue generated last quarter) and Lyft will pay $38 million (4 percent of its revenue) to settle allegations that the ride-sharing companies illegally withheld wages and mandatory sick leave from drivers in New York. Over 100,000 drivers in the state could be eligible to receive funds under the settlement.
Starting today, Phoenix residents can use the Uber app to hail a ride in a driverless Waymo vehicle. The two companies — former rivals turned frenemies (?) — first announced the partnership earlier this year. Tellingly, it’s only available in Arizona, and not California, where tensions around robotaxis are starting to get, well, tense.
Uber is listing more and more taxi drivers in its app, most recently in Los Angeles. How did the two sides come together? In short, money.
As spotted by Bloomberg, code in the Uber Eats app suggests the service is working on an AI chatbot to provide recommendations to customers.
It’s not the only app thinking about AI and food delivery, either. Bloomberg reported last month that DoorDash is working on an AI chatbot as well. DoorDash also announced today that it’s rolling out an AI-powered voice ordering service.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Uber is increasing its minimum driver age in California from 19 to 25 years old — a move it blames on rising insurance costs in the state:
Personal injury attorneys have created a cottage industry specializing in suing rideshare platforms like ours, pushing Uber’s California state-mandated commercial insurance costs to rise by more than 65% in just two years.
Californians under the age of 25 who signed up to the platform before Wednesday will get to keep driving for Uber.
Uber’s latest financial results include an honest to goodness operating profit, “for the first time in Uber’s history,” according to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Pre-tax earnings stood at $326 million, a huge change compared to the $713 million operating loss it reported the same time last year, The Financial Times notes.
Wendy’s is permanently closing its ghost kitchen business. Butler Hospitality, a ghost kitchen company, shut down entirely. Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens lost a bunch of restaurant partners. Uber Eats is trimming its menu.
I guess you could say these kitchens got... ghosted.
Here’s a great essay from Oversharing’s Ali Griswold, reflecting on the origins — and demise — of the so-called “sharing economy” to describe companies like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and others. Lyft ditching shared rides seems to be a nail in the coffin for these particular companies.
It’s been a long time since “sharing” meant sharing. Silicon Valley redefined sharing to mean something like “using a technology platform to get more use out of something you already have.” By the same logic, you could call restaurants shared dining rooms, gyms shared fitness spaces, libraries shared bookstores (jk, libraries are real sharing! Support your local library!).
The company is working with automakers to design its own custom-built electric vehicles for ridehailing and delivery, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told The Wall Street Journal. That means lower top speeds and bench seats for passengers to face each other for ridehailing, and smaller footprint two- and three-wheelers with cargo space for delivery. Which automakers though? Khosrowshahi wouldn’t say.
An investigation from The Markup found that Uber is slow to respond to law enforcement requests, leaving drivers vulnerable to repeated attacks.