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Posts Tagged ‘Uber news’

Uber Hopes to Elevate Riders with Flying Taxis

“Push a button, get a flight.”

by on Apr.25, 2017

An artist's rendering shows an Uber Elevates VTOL approaching Dallas.

It looks like ride-sharing service Uber is about to take off – quite literally.

Already running tests on a network of autonomous vehicles, Uber now wants to launch a flying taxi service. At a summit meeting in Dallas, Uber officials revealed plans to begin test flights by 2020 in Dallas and Dubai for what the company plans to call Uber Elevate.

Travel News!

“Urban aviation is a natural next step for Uber,” chief product officer Jeff Holden said ahead of the opening of the three-day Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas. “That’s why we’re working to make ‘Push a button, get a flight’ a reality.”

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Uber Refutes Google’s Stolen Intellectual Property Charges

Uber denies charges in latest court filings.

by on Apr.10, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick company issued a broad denial of charges leveled against it by Waymo in a recent court filing.

Uber, the ride-hailing company that is trying to change how people use cars, issued a broad denial of claims that it stole critical intellectual property originally developed by and for Google’s automated vehicle subsidiary Waymo.

The lawsuit filed by Waymo in February charges Uber is using intellectual property that was downloaded on a laptop computer by a former employee at Google, which now goes by the name Alphabet. The employee downloaded thousands of critical documents before leaving to launch his own self-driving startup, Otto, which was later acquired by Uber.

Beyond the Headlines!

The former Google employee, Anthony Lewandowski, now holds a critical role in Uber’s self-driving-vehicle unit, which the ride-hailing service said is key to the company’s future. (more…)

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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Another Day, Another Smack for Uber — President Resigns

After company announces plans to add COO, president decides to go.

by on Mar.20, 2017

Another tough day for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick as the company's recently hired president, Jeff Jones, resigned.

The old adage says when it rains, it pours and if you’re Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, it must feel like a hurricane is swirling around your office. The San Francisco-based ride services company suffered another setback over the weekend as Jeff Jones, the company’s recently hired president, resigned.

His departure is just the latest in snafus that have plagued the company, harming its perception with consumers and investors alike. Ironically, Jones, who came over after a stint at mega-retailer Target, came on board to improve Uber’s reputation.

Auto News!

He quit less than seven months after he joined the company. The reasons for his departure weren’t immediately announced; however, in an email to employees Kalanick praised Jones for his work and dropped a pretty big hint as to why Jones left. (more…)

Uber Pushes for Arbitration in Intellectual Property Suit with Waymo

Move keeps sensitive information out of public eye.

by on Mar.17, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has his hands full these days, including the latest legal action.

Uber will try and force arbitration rather a face a trial court over charges that it has stolen intellectual property and proprietary technology from Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car subsidiary, which has taken a prominent role in the development of autonomous vehicles.

Arturo Gonzalez, the prominent San Francisco trial lawyer representing Uber, told a federal judge that he planned to file a petition demanding arbitration of Waymo’s claims of trade secrets theft.

Stay Plugged In!

Arbitration, a legal procedure that side steps open court, allows a third party to review the evidence and decide the case rather than a judge. It’s also less drawn out than a trial and usually less expensive but both sides must agree on the person, often a retired judge, who will serve as the arbitrator in the case. (more…)

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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Things Go From Bad to Worse for Uber

New engineering chief out over his own sexual harassment charges.

by on Feb.28, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is facing an mounting list of problems that are beginning to concern investors.

Already under fire over allegations of sexual harassment facing its female employees, things continue to get worse for American car-sharing giant Uber.

The company’s recently hired engineering chief has been forced out by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. According to reports, Amit Singhal was asked to leave after Uber learned he had faced a “credible” charge of harassment during his previous post as an executive at Google.

News Now!

“Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior,” Singhal said in a statement. “In my 20-year career, I’ve never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own.” (more…)

Waymo Sues Uber for Theft of Intellectual Property

Uber's problems continue with suit.

by on Feb.24, 2017

Waymo's new LiDAR sensors have dropped in price 90% but still cost around $8,000 each.

With the company already under fire for tolerating blatant sexism and its take no prisoners internal culture, Uber was jolted again this week when Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, filed suit in U.S. District Court, charging the ride-hailing service with stealing key intellectual property.

The Waymo legal complaint and subsequent blog post on the company’s web site outlines in dramatic fashion allegations that Uber used the $680 million acquisition last summer of a Silicon Valley start-up company called Otto, which was founded by a former Google employee, to pull off the theft.

In the Know!

Uber, which only this week brought in former Attorney General Eric Holder, to investigate the company’s problems with sexism, was slow to respond to the Waymo charges. (more…)