Several days ago, a Los Angeles Uber customer decided to leave a party for home early via UberX, the company's affordable taxi replacement. Instead of taking her home, the driver took her on a nightmare ride to an abandoned lot—and Uber doesn't seem to care.
Uber hates rules. Laws, regulations, checks, balances—they're all barriers. The company is so accountability-averse that it's suing the city of Columbus, Ohio to keep its driver insurance plan in the dark.
Travis Kalanick, chief executive of Uber and Ayn Rand superfan, thinks regulation is for suckers, and his company has been slow to expand background checks and tighten the screening process as it ravenously expands. Surprise: people are beating Uber's weak rules.
The next time you hop in an UberX—one of the transit startup's fancy gypsy cabs run by unlicensed drivers—you'll notice a new "Safe Ride Fee" added to your fare. It's only a dollar, but since when do we have to pay extra to not get raped?
A pending lawsuit against Uber says the smartphone car service is partially responsible for a little girl's death by encouraging illegal distracted driving. We looked at Uber's internal training materials, and it's easy to see how it could keep your eyes off the road.