The Verge revealed an estimated 165 articles about Uber in 2016. To me, that appears low. So a lot Uber-related information occurred this yr, it boggles my thoughts: Lawsuits, self-driving automobiles, a brand new emblem, new app, extra lawsuits, new group tips, a murder spree, self-driving vans, and eventually, the primary Uber gadget.
In some ways, the corporate strengthened its stranglehold on the journey-sharing business by making offers and releasing merchandise at a livid tempo, all with the aim of remaining probably the most extensively used transportation service on the planet. Lyft and different rivals stayed within the recreation, and can stay a outstanding thorn in Uber’s aspect, however there’s no query which firm gained the journey-sharing wars.
But at what value? Uber continued its livid tempo of fundraising into 2016, at one level netting an insane $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund. How a lot of that cash was incinerated in Uber’s ridiculously costly money-burning contest with Didi Chuxing in China? Hard to inform, however recent reports point out the corporate was capable of sluggish the bleeding by promoting its Chinese enterprise to Didi. Still, Uber is way from worthwhile. Turns out slashing costs to gasoline probably the most speedy international enlargement plans in historical past is a pricey enterprise.
Uber additionally embraced its future as a transportation firm, forging offers with carmakers like Nissan, Volvo, and Fiat Chrysler with an eye fixed on its future self-driving ambitions. It launched restricted automated rides in Pittsburgh (with the blessing of native officers) and San Francisco (sans blessing). And it acquired a variety of startups, together with self-driving truck firm Otto, because it introduced its intention to increase into freight. Oh, in fact, a flying car project. Because why not?
The firm made overtures towards enhancing relations with drivers, redesigning the driving force-dealing with app and elevating fares in some cities. But a settlement has but to be reached in an enormous class motion lawsuit, after a federal decide rejected Uber’s $100 million supply as too low. Drivers everywhere in the world stay involved about what Uber’s dedication to self-driving automobiles will imply for his or her future employment.
Uber is sticking by its juvenile posturing in terms of native laws, even whereas it employs shady practices to undermine its perceived foes. If Uber goes to be a grown-up firm, in 2017, it wants to start out enjoying by the principles.
Verge 2016 Report Card: Uber
- The app is sweet and getting higher
- Interesting experiments, like carpooling, meals supply, and freight
- Boldly pushing boundaries on new know-how
- Chafes unnecessarily at regulation
- Can we haz revenue?
- Start treating drivers like individuals