Uber fights uphill battle

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WAYMO, A Google company, made their first completely built autonomous car in 2016. They initially modified cars already in production, but expanded productions to the whole car with this model.

Abbey Murphy

Staff Writer

Recently, Uber has been hit with many troubles. Of those include, a self-driving car crash, a human resources problem and a drop in their market shares. CEO Travis Kalanick has had much to deal with in the recent past.

Uber started to test self-driving in Pittsburgh, Tempe, Arizona, and San Francisco, California. According to UsNews, in Tempe, Arizona, a car operated by a human did not yield to the Uber self-driving car. An engineer and a driver were in the two front seats during the accident but no serious injuries were reported. Two people, usually employees, sit in the front seat of the vehicles; one can control if something goes wrong and the other tracks the performance with a computer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, all self-driving vehicles in the three cities resumed on March 28, but in San Francisco customers cannot ride them. Accidents can happen in self-driving cars, but according to Hod Lipson, Ph.D., engineering professor at Columbia University, as the technology improves, so does the safety.

Uber also faces problems with their culture. Kalanick went to a bar in South Korea with other executives in 2014. Three years later, one of the female executives came out saying she felt uncomfortable with how the men were treating the girls in the bar. The girls had numbers attached to them, and the employee felt they were degrading. According to the NY Post, an investigation is being conducting on sexual harassment claims at Uber.

On top of that, Uber faced claims in February for sexual harassment dealing with employees, of which one claimed she was solicited for sex and human resources denied her claims. Also, Kalanick was spotted fiercely arguing with one of their drivers over fares.

Uber’s market shares are falling to Lyft. According to the Economist, their shares have fallen 6 percent from 80 percent to 74 percent during the beginning of 2017 to the beginning of March. Many think Lyft, another ride service, is catching up to Uber.

Overall, Uber has taken hits in the recent past in services, culture and the market. But according to The Economist, only 6 percent of American cell-phone users order a ride at least once a month from Lyft or Uber. There is room for growth if Uber can adopt efficient technology, act morally and attract customers.

Want to write for the business section? Email the editor: jordan.reis@scranton.edu

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