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Posts Tagged ‘travis kalanick’

Uber Exec Could Face Injunction – or Possible Criminal Charges in Waymo Lawsuit

Lawsuit could shut down Uber’s autonomous vehicle program.

by on Mar.31, 2017

An Uber autonomous prototype rolled on its side following a crash in Tempe, Arizona.

A lawsuit filed by Waymo is taking a potentially nasty turn for Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee who founded one of Uber’s self-driving vehicle units.

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle spin-off of Google, has gone to court claiming Uber stole some of its intellectual property, and the spotlight has fallen on Levandowski. He was a senior employee at Waymo before leaving to start his own self-driving enterprise, Otto, which focuses on autonomous trucking.

The Last Word!

Called to testify, Levandowski invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify, one of his attorneys saying that move was made because of “the potential for criminal action.” That appears to mean the potential Levandowski could be charged with stealing intellectual property.

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More Headaches for Uber as Autonomous Vehicle Crashes

Ride-share service suspends program; sexual harassment concerns escalate.

by on Mar.27, 2017

An Uber autonomous prototype rolled on its side following a crash in Tempe, Arizona.

(Update: Uber has since resumed its autonomous pilot program and police have issued a ticket to the human driver who they believe caused the Arizona crash.)

Ride-sharing giant Uber has suspended its autonomous vehicle pilot program in the wake of a crash involving one of its modified Volvo XC90 SUVs.

It comes as the latest setback for Uber, which has begun a search for a new management team to help address a series of embarrassments including numerous claims of sexual harassment, as well as a video showing its founder and CEO Travis Kalanick berating one of the company’s drivers over pay concerns.

Breaking News!

“We are continuing to look into this incident,” an Uber spokesperson said of the Saturday multi-vehicle crash in Tempe, Arizona that resulted in the Uber SUV rolling onto its side. “There were no serious injuries,” according to Uber, though two Uber “safety” operators were in the front seats.

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Uber Autonomous Vehicles Running into Big Problems

Human “operators” have to take over at least once per mile.

by on Mar.22, 2017

Uber pulled these autonomous XC90s out of San Francisco in December, but they've since returned.

As if Uber doesn’t have enough trouble with its management shake-ups, sex harassment investigations and financial issues, the ride-sharing giants autonomous vehicle program has been running into a series of serious issues.

After resolving a dispute with California regulators, Uber this month relaunched its self-driving test program in San Francisco. It also has autonomous prototypes operating in Pennsylvania and Arizona. But those vehicles can barely go a mile, it seems, without having to have their human “operators” take over control, according to Uber data.

Technology News!

That’s in sharp contrast to the experience reported by Google’s Waymo autonomous vehicle unit, which recently reported a sharp decline in the number of instances where humans had to snatch control away from the onboard autopilot system.

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Uber’s Autonomous Cars Heading Back to California

Chastened ride-sharing service stops “greyballing.”

by on Mar.09, 2017

After facing legal threats, Uber removed its San Francisco test fleet last December.

Hammered for months over a variety of ethical and legal slips – as well as its poor financial numbers – ride-sharing giant Uber appears to be taking steps to soften its macho corporate image while also being more cooperative with regulators.

Forced out of San Francisco last December after refusing to get the requisite state permit for its autonomous vehicle test drive program, Uber is now ready to return to California after having filed the necessary paperwork. Meanwhile, the company now says it will stop “greyballing,” a process it developed to make it more difficult for regulators in cities ranging from Boston to Paris.

Breaking News!

But Uber still faces a variety of other challenges. It has hired former U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder, for one thing, to handle a probe of sexual harassment within the mostly male company. And Uber CEO has said he plans to seek “leadership help,” after being caught on a dashboard cam raging at one of the company’s drivers who had questioned corporate payment policies. Such issues have been playing into the hands of critics and competitors – including Lyft, which last week announced a new $500 million fundraising bid.

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Uber CEO Seeking “Leadership Help” After Tantrum

“I must fundamentally change…and grow up,” says Kalanick.

by on Mar.01, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is apologizing after an angry spat with one of his drivers.

In the latest crisis to hammer the giant ride-sharing service, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says he need “leadership help” in the wake of a confrontation with one of the company’s drivers.

Uber has seen a wave of customer defections in recent weeks, as a result of a series of issues, including sexual harassment claims. Kalanick, who has often feuded with critics, touched off a new storm this week as a dashboard video surfaced showing him engaged in a heated argument with an Uber driver who had complained about a cut in the fees he was receiving.

Leadership News!

“Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own (problems),” Kalanick says in the video, which was published by the Bloomberg news service. “They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!” he shouted as he slammed the vehicle’s door.

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Sex Harassment Claim Raises More Problems for Uber

CEO Kalanick orders “urgent investigation.”

by on Feb.20, 2017

Another firestorm engulfs Uber and CEO Travisk Kalanick orders an "urgent investigation."

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has ordered an “urgent investigation” into claims raised by a female engineer who has gone public about allegedly endemic sexual harassment within the country’s largest ride-sharing service.

In an open statement, Susan Fowler Rigetti described “an organization in complete, unrelenting chaos,” alleging she was propositioned for sex on her very first day on the job, was repeatedly blocked from advancement and found Uber’s human resources department unwilling to take action on sexual harassment claims she and other female employees filed.

Breaking News!

Her blog posting, titled “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber,” quickly went viral and, by Monday, had generated a response from Kalanick who said in a tweet that “What’s described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in,” adding that “Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

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Uber CEO Quits Trump Business Advisory Panel

CEO Travis Kalanick bows to pressure amidst travel ban protests.

by on Feb.03, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick moves to soften criticism of the ride-sharing's ties to Trump.

Already reeling from a threatened boycott against his company, as well as mounting internal opposition, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory panel.

The move was linked to the new administration’s controversial Executive Order on travel and immigration that critics have denounced as a “Muslim Ban.” That triggered a wave of protests across the U.S., as well as attacks on Uber which, some critics claimed, was lending its support to the new president.

Beyond the Headlines!

“Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that,” Kalanick reportedly advised his staff in an e-mail.

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Uber Agrees to Pay “Duped” Drivers

Settlement covers lower earnings, higher costs.

by on Jan.20, 2017

The recruitment page on Uber's website.

Uber has agreed to pay $20 million to drivers who claim they received less pay but faced higher costs after being recruited by the ride-sharing service.

The settlement with the Federal Trade Commission is the latest in a series of legal battles for San Francisco-based Uber Technologies, the company last month ending an autonomous vehicle test project in its home town after a run-in with California over its refusal to get the necessary permits.

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The FTC settlement centers around a recruitment effort by Uber which, driver’s alleged, had promised them high pay for their services. But the government determined that only a small number of drivers operating in 18 major cities earned what the ride-sharing service had published online. It also determined that drivers were paying higher-than-promised fees to lease the vehicles they drove.

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