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Old 16th December 2014, 12:29   #571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pratyush6 View Post
Is Uber banned in Bangalore? Really ? I have yet to come across any concrete news of the same. I can see the cabs are still available - less but available.
Bangalore RTO has clearly asked them to submit the documents they asked for and restart the operations. For some unknown reason this law abiding company is unable to do so. They are not willing to hand over the driver data base saying that the data exist only in US server. This company thinks that Indians are totally IT illiterate and propagates that this app is some kind of Frankenstein monster which even the creator can't control once out of the release window.. How else can they not have the list if they are sending money in to these driver accounts locally. They are buying time and cleaning up driver database in mean time.

Last edited by poloman : 16th December 2014 at 12:31.
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Old 16th December 2014, 13:58   #572
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Originally Posted by zenren View Post

Is it financially justifiable? Do we know for sure the increased toll charges in the toll roads in US are not going to be charged in case of any calamity or emergency and that it is done automatically without human intervention? They have enough officials in charge of each toll road and hence they can very well turn off the surge-pricing in case of emergency manually.
Sorry wrong on many counts. First of all, these systems are completely automated. The pricing changes dynamically almost at real time and have checks for emergency conditions. How do I know? My wife is an economist for one such transportation agency and has implemented the pricing model and I am a regular user of the said toll road. These systems have inputs from various sources including weather information, GIS models etc. You are correct that there is always a provision for manual override for any intelligent systems.

Can Uber do it? Absolutely, they have a whole army of data scientists who extract lot more infomation from the Uber usage data. The surge pricing has been criticized before, during hurricane in Florida etc and IMHO this is just a cheap attempt to get publicity. It is not very hard to put an overflow condition in any algorithm. Even the airline tickets cost higher but not exorbitantly higher (10x of base price) if you fly on the Christmas eve.
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Old 16th December 2014, 14:11   #573
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by pratyush6 View Post
Is Uber banned in Bangalore? Really ? I have yet to come across any concrete news of the same. I can see the cabs are still available - less but available.
Bengaluru RTO officials raid UBER office and seize 100 mobile phones

Source link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/45529104.cms

Quote:
BENGALURU: Transport officials swooped down on the city office of cab-hailing service aggregator Uber on MG Road on Monday afternoon.

They grilled company officials for an hour and seized over 100 mobile phones used by cabbies.

Sources said the move followed tip-offs that the aggregator was operating through its mobile-phone app despite operations being suspended last week. Officials said they have not locked the office, but directed Uber executives to get licences to restart their cab operation.

The three-member staff operating from the ground floor of a multistory complex had no board indicating it is an office. The trio had little details to share with the RTO party.

A TOI team was present when RTO officials went about their business.

App still works

Quote:
Uber app continued to work till late Monday night and the cabs were available on call. Uber sources, however, claimed that their Bengaluru office was visited, not raided, by the RTO. They said discussions with the RTO were going on, but couldn't divulge details.

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Old 16th December 2014, 14:27   #574
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoseVijay View Post
Bengaluru RTO officials raid UBER office and seize 100 mobile phones

Source link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/45529104.cms

Sources said the move followed tip-offs that the aggregator was operating through its mobile-phone app despite operations being suspended last week. Officials said they have not locked the office, but directed Uber executives to get licences to restart their cab operation.
This is indeed interesting. Why would you need a tip off - any person with a smartphone can install that app and know Uber is still in operation.

And as I type this - it is even now in operation. Attaching a screenshot for a location close to my home.

If the officials have asked them to get licenses/permission from authorities then I am completely for it - Get the verification thing done too before you start your operations.

And on that note - I would not be using Uber for now - you never know you may end up at a Police station.
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Last edited by pratyush6 : 16th December 2014 at 14:40.
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Old 16th December 2014, 16:23   #575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
And how do you propose the algorithm does that? I am sorry but this is arguing just for the heck of it.
Of course Uber can implement if they want to. Why do you think there is a such a large amount of money riding on Uber? Where is all that money going? Just on marketing cost and to cover the losses because of pricing below the market price? I don't think so. I am of the opinion that this is a large-scale social experiment that Uber is conducting. If they wanted, they could have easily focused on a smaller geographical area, obey the local rules there, work with governments to form new rules etc, to, but they really don't seem to be interested in all that. All the real world scenarios that play out are only going to help them perfect their system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Uber is there to provide simple taxi service to people. They are not into hiring Computer Science PHDs and providing them with 5 year research grants to work on interesting problems.
Sorry, this is wrong. This is exactly opposite to what Uber has been arguing all the time that hey are a 'technology' company, not a taxi service. Reality is they are a technology company focusing on transportation service. They definitely have Computer Science PhDs working for them, in fact i would even say that most of their workforce is in actually Computer Science/Engineering domain.

The long term plan for Uber is not to be just another taxi service player. Not even dominating that market in traditional sense is what they are after. Long term plan is to alter the scene altogether - with driver-less cars. Drivers are just one more resource parameter which will be replaced by another resource when time comes. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that they aren't interested in obeying laws or follow government orders world over, because all of the existing laws will be severely outdated by then.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/28/57...f-driving-cars

Quote:
A day after Google unveiled the prototype for its own driverless vehicle, Kalanick was visibly excited at the prospect of developing a fleet of driverless vehicles, which he said would make car ownership rare. "The reason Uber could be expensive is because you're not just paying for the car — you're paying for the other dude in the car," Kalanick said. "When there's no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away."

Last edited by SilentEngine : 16th December 2014 at 16:30.
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Old 16th December 2014, 16:47   #576
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentEngine View Post
Long term plan is to alter the scene altogether - with driver-less cars.
Uber is designed for driver-less cars. Hence the investment from Google. The question is how will Uber manage/conduct itself till the driver-less cars are practical.

Last edited by msdivy : 16th December 2014 at 16:49.
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Old 16th December 2014, 17:49   #577
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While I dont condone the governemnt ban and Uber's lack of due diligence. Uber could have handled things better rather than bury its head in the sand. It cold have presented cae in terms of job creation and job enrichment it has provided and also tired to work towards a compliance roadmap
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Old 17th December 2014, 17:53   #578
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My view,
(Disclaimer: I'm not supporting any party here, just letting my thoughts flow)

Uber has set incorrect expectation regarding safety and also about its service offering.

Uber is like a matrimony site. we think its an end to end taxi service provider.

A matrimony site links two people, it gives a platform for two individuals to meet.
It doesn't give assurance on the character of the individuals.

Uber does the same.
If a marriage falls apart, do we blame the matrimony site, through which the couple met?NO.

Uber's fault is
1, It over set expectations on safety which it could not meet.
2. We are generally harassed by auto/taxis, when we see a MNC taxi service, with a driver in white uniform, we assume the service is superior, which increased the expectation.

I don't understand how fixing gps/aadhar/panic button will improve safety.

1. In this case, the car traveled in the route it was supposed to take. gps would not have triggered an alarm.
2. Post a crime, a driver can always disable a gps, even if its not smartphone based. how will it help track?
3. How will aadhar help if the documents are forged?
3. If a driver's intent is bad, what stops him from disabling the panic button. the button is fixed in his car, it can be deactivated by him anytime

Only fear of law/punishment will help improve safety.

--------------------------------------
Secondly,
Uber is yet to unfurl its dirty face.
Uber is under cutting fares now to get people addicted to the service.

we prefer uber to avoid paying rs10 more than the meter.
In a few years time, uber will introduce dynamic fares like flights/trains.

Check what happened in Australia.
http://gawker.com/uber-turned-on-sur...ney-1671193132


What stops uber from offering fare plans like,
1. Want a cab in 5 mins, pay rs 50 extra, else wait for 30 mins.
2. Travel to south mumbai? average speed as per gps records is 10km/hr, pay additional fuel surcharge of 1%. because our driver gets less mileage.
3. Are you travelling between 8am to 10am? then the fare is 10% higher
4. Demand based pricing, travelling to a cricket match or a exhibition pay 50% more.(1000's would be travelling to the same destination)
5. your destination is panvel, as per 6 months gps records. it is difficult to get a return journey so the fate is 25% more.
6. Travel few days before diwali will attract 20% higher fare.

Remember its a technology company, complex algorithm can achieve complex dynamic pricing models.
Whatever we hear from auto drivers will be done by algorithms.

Uber can by pass local laws which fixes maximum fare per km and collect extra money as booking fee/service charges/fuel compensation cost etc.
Uber is going to mimic airline pricing model.

With your credit card stored with uber, it will automatically deduct the fare amount
With auto guys at least we have a chance to fight.

Bad days are ahead.

No wonder it is backed by top venture capitalists who pump billions behind this venture.
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Old 17th December 2014, 19:06   #579
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Uber is getting into some or the other controversy everyday

France, Spain and Thailand have banned UBER services.

Source link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/w...w/45545309.cms

Quote:
BENGALURU: Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc has limited employee access to its "God View", a real-time taxi monitoring tool, amid increasing privacy concerns.

God View, which lets the company see all Uber cabs in a city and waiting customers who have hailed cars, is now available only to "employees working in operations or other areas, like fraud prevention," Uber said in a letter to Senator Al Franken.

Uber was asked to clarify its privacy policy and the use of the tracking tool by the Minnesota senator, who is also the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, last month.

Franken said he was concerned about the "surprising lack of detail" in Uber's response.

The tool was also shown to some third parties in a "presentation" view, Uber said.

The company's business practices have come under scrutiny, with some customers alleging privacy violations, as it has grown rapidly around the world in recent months.

A senior Uber executive caused an uproar earlier this month when he told journalists that Uber should consider hiring researchers to examine and disclose activities of media critics.

One of its employees had used the tool to check the ride detail of a journalist who was late for a meeting the two had scheduled, technology website Cnet reported on Monday.

Uber has been dogged by controversy surrounding its aggressive approach to local governments and traditional taxi services.

France, Spain and Thailand have banned some or all Uber services, as have cities such as New Delhi where a female passenger earlier this month accused one of its drivers of rape.

Uber was not immediately available for comment.
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Old 18th December 2014, 09:16   #580
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

And a new uber driver rape case in Boston.
Quote:
As ride-hailing company Uber announced new safety measures, one of its drivers in Boston was arraigned on rape charges.

Alejandro Done, 46, picked up a woman who ordered a ride home on Uber Dec. 6, authorities said.

He presented himself as her driver and demanded to be paid in cash, even though the company’s policy is to keep credit cards on file, police said.

Done drove to an ATM and then a secluded area, where he raped her in the backseat, police said.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crim...icle-1.2049341

Last edited by noopster : 18th December 2014 at 16:20. Reason: Adding extract in keeping with fair usage practice
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Old 18th December 2014, 16:13   #581
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

All this fire targetted at Uber is unnecessary. There are hundreds of taxi operators in Bengaluru itself, one practically in each colony/layout, and there is no way to know whether the drivers have a valid license, has a good track record or has a history of crime. We depend on the government agencies for things like character certificates and licenses.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-myt...?trk=prof-post

Uber adds visibility via the tracking feature, which is useful to keep track without having to stay on the phone throughout the journey.

These cab drivers (heard directly from a driver) earn really well with Uber, and the company really doesn't shortchange them. There is a real incentive to work honestly. They also provide a Much better customer experience from the regular autos, at almost the same fare. In Bangalore, it may even be cheaper.

Uber provided a note to verified drivers with which they could pick up a Toyota Etios without down-payment. They just had to pay an EMI. There are incentives to work for 12hrs/day for four days in a week (not more), and incentives to work early mornings or late evenings. And these are really good incentives, enough to bring the drivers' incomes into the mid 5-figures. That's spreading the benefits to the people who really work for it. Uber makes money, but have we ever thought how much the neighbourhood cab service driver earns?

I'm all for Uber. It is really up to the RTO and police to clean up their act, and we need to demand that rather than to ban these companies.

Last edited by VeluM : 18th December 2014 at 16:15.
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Old 19th December 2014, 10:50   #582
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My wife, as a woman, still feels Uber is safe and calls an Uber Cab whenever Yours Truly is not available or when urgently needed. This is in Pune, just to avoid haggling with Auto-Drivers. Ninety nine percent of the times their drivers are courteous (actually 100 percent in our case) and that one percent which made the news has badly damaged their reputation. Just think the percentage of private taxi operators / ricks that are that courteous. Or maybe the Pune Uber drivers are that well-trained.

The words as I would put it - Many Marutis, Hyundais caught fire, no one bats an eye-lid, two nanos catch fire, everyone loses their mind.

The more popular a product is, the more its susceptible to harshest of criticism. In this country.
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Old 19th December 2014, 12:03   #583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
.
In a few years time, uber will introduce dynamic fares like flights/trains.
Valid points T1000.

Uber already has dynamic fares in US. Depending on the time, location and availability of cars they charge 25% extra.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 18:02   #584
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Default Uber can fly (or why they shouldn't use cheap hanging smartphones)

Uber can fly! You don't believe me? Here's proof:
Name:  uberflaw.jpg
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What happened here? Trivial. The app hung.

Clearly ONLY the app messed up here - it didn't close the trip on time.

Its not the driver's mistake since if he did something, then it would have shown him driving rather than follow a crow fly route. Now he's gotten a rotten rating from me too.

What could I do? I got charged $49 whereas the similar time trip INTO the city (both didnt have toll) costed only $28. If you don't give a rotten rating, no one pays attention. So the driver's rating suffers because of uber's flaw.

This is clearly an aberration I expect a world class a $40 bn valued company to catch. They're supposed to be a technology company, that can't handle the most basic use case - hanging phones / apps.

They have the exact GPS logs so it will take like a second to calculate my "actual" fare.

As it stands, if I claim this as my trip expense, my company will say this bill is erroneous and I will look like a fool. Now its my headache to shout / tweet / email uber and beg for a partial refund.

This is the kind of stuff that just cannot happen with a regular cab.

Sigh.

Last edited by phamilyman : 23rd December 2014 at 18:04.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 19:08   #585
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Uber uses iPhone and that is one expensive hanging phone and yes apps on iPhone do hang sometimes
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