Lyft Seizes Opportunity as Uber Tries to Outrun Troubles


Lyft seizes alternative as Uber tries to outrun troubles [CNBC News]

Sum and Substance: Lyft makes an enormous enlargement transfer, saying it’s including statewide protection to 32 states, bringing its complete to 40. The firm seizes the chance to recruit disillusioned drivers. Lyft’s share of the U.S. ride-hailing market up to now two years grew at double the speed of Uber. It has upgraded its smartphone app, stepped up advertising efforts to appeal to extra riders and expanded its U.S.-only service into 160 extra cities for a complete of about 350.

When administration upheaval, allegations of company espionage and revelations of sexual harassment despatched Uber right into a public relations sinkhole, its lengthy overshadowed rival Lyft shifted into overdrive. The firm seized the chance to recruit disillusioned drivers so it might be extra responsive to passengers looking for a ride-hailing various to Uber. It upgraded its smartphone app, stepped up advertising efforts to appeal to extra riders and expanded its U.S.-only service into 160 extra cities for a complete of about 350.

The aggressive techniques forged the a lot smaller Lyft in a brand new mild. After 5 years of being content material in its position as the fun-loving, pink-mustached underdog of journey hailing, Lyft is proving to be a wily opportunist and a extra imposing menace to Uber.

But an enormous chasm nonetheless separates the foes when it comes to monetary assets, ridership and breadth of operations. While Lyft’s rides are within the tens of millions per yr and solely within the U.S., Uber makes 10 million journeys per day worldwide and has carried greater than 5 billion passengers in over 80 nations since 2009. Uber has raised almost $14 billion in capital since its inception, in contrast with Lyft’s $2.6 billion. For its half, Uber is doing all it could actually to hold its lead. … Yet the bottom that Lyft has been gaining can’t be ignored. By the time Uber’s board ousted abrasive CEO Travis Kalanick in June, Lyft had greater than doubled its ridership from the primary six months of final yr. At the top of June, it had handed 2016’s full-year experience complete of 162.5 million.

To make sure, Lyft already was rising quick earlier than Uber went into self-destruct mode. Lyft’s share of the U.S. ride-hailing market up to now two years grew at double the speed of Uber, rising from 12 % to simply over 30 %, in accordance to Lyft’s inner metrics.

… Nick Raef, 23, who works at Northwestern University close to Chicago, considers worth and model picture every time he chooses between Uber and Lyft. Service in Chicago, he says, is shut to even between the 2. But if Uber occurs to be misbehaving on a specific day, he’ll go together with Lyft even when it’s costlier. “I’ve told myself this controversy is worth a dollar or $2 depending on how bad the story was that day,” he stated.

My Take:  This is the story line we’ve all been anticipating for a while now – Lyft capitalizes on Uber’s errors to seize market share. But if my private expertise of a driver is any indication, I’m nonetheless not shopping for the narrative.  When I activate each apps, invariably Lyft includes longer pickups – which imply there’s much less demand and fewer drivers on the Lyft platform.

Drive with Uber 1

While Lyft passengers could also be a tad nicer, that’s hardly a decisive issue for me. The Quest provides I obtain from Uber are significantly extra engaging than the incentives Lyft gives. Uber gives a $120 bonus for finishing 25 rides in a weekend with a 75% acceptance fee whereas Lyft provides a $140 assure of internet earnings (truly simply over $100 after Lyft fee.)  Uber’s supply is as well as to my complete earnings, whereas Lyft’s supply is the whole compensation.  So from this driver’s perspective, Uber nonetheless just about has a lock on this market – extra passengers and extra drivers making extra money. What’s it like in your market?

U.S. House unanimously approves sweeping self-driving automotive measure [Reuters]

Sum and Substance: The U.S. House on Wednesday unanimously authorised a sweeping proposal to velocity the deployment of self-driving automobiles with out human controls by placing federal regulators within the driver’s seat and barring states from blocking autonomous automobiles. The House measure, the primary vital federal laws aimed toward rushing self-driving automobiles to market, would permit automakers to acquire exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 automobiles with out assembly present auto security requirements within the first yr. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 automobiles yearly.

Representative Doris Matsui stated the invoice “puts us on a path towards innovation which, up until recently, seemed unimaginable.” Automakers, enterprise teams, and advocates for the blind praised the House measure. But one shopper group stated the House invoice didn’t do sufficient to guarantee self-driving automobiles can be protected. Under the invoice, producers in search of exemptions should reveal self-driving automobiles are at the least as protected as present automobiles. States might nonetheless set guidelines on registration, licensing, legal responsibility, insurance coverage and security inspections, however not efficiency requirements.  Automakers would have to submit security evaluation stories to regulators, however the invoice wouldn’t require pre-market approval of superior car applied sciences. The measure now goes to the Senate, the place a bipartisan group of lawmakers has been engaged on comparable laws. Automakers and know-how corporations, together with General Motors Co and Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo, hope to start deploying automobiles round 2020. They have been pushing for brand spanking new federal guidelines making it simpler to deploy self-driving know-how, however some shopper teams have sought further safeguards.

Current federal guidelines bar self-driving automobiles with out human controls on U.S. roads. States have issued quite a lot of totally different guidelines within the absence of clear federal steerage, and automakers have complained that California’s guidelines are too restrictive. U.S. senators may flow into their draft laws this week. One sticking level is how to deal with business self-driving vans, which aren’t included within the House measure. The Senate model may soften the provisions preempting state guidelines. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and different automakers have been lobbying Congress to act, typically bringing check automobiles to Capitol Hill so lawmakers can check out driverless automobiles. Advocates hope self-driving automobiles might help scale back U.S. street deaths, which rose 7.7 % in 2015, the very best annual bounce since 1966. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated in a 2014 research that U.S. visitors crashes value society $836 billion a yr in financial loss, with human error behind 94 % of crashes.

Consumer advocates need to give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration faster entry to crash knowledge and extra funding to oversee self-driving automobiles. “The autonomous vehicle bill just passed by the House leaves a wild west without adequate safety protections for consumers. It pre-empts any state safety standards, but there are none at the national level,” the Consumer Watchdog group stated in a press release. The coverage group Transportation for America stated cities are fearful the House “legislation will preempt local authorities from managing their own streets and fail to give local leaders the confidence that manufacturers and operators will be aware of and follow local laws and regulations.”

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My Take: While there clearly is a profit from having the federal authorities set uniform requirements that apply in all 50 states, I’m not an enormous fan of this invoice, particularly when there isn’t a pre-market approval required of advance applied sciences. What’s to forestall unsafe or unproven applied sciences from being utilized in conditions that would trigger bodily hurt or demise? Like a lot laws in Congress and state homes, the legislators depend on language advised by the potential beneficiaries of the laws. That, in any case, is why lobbyists outnumber legislators by what … 1000-1 in DC?

Seattle’s landmark Uber-Lyft union regulation on maintain once more as courtroom battles proceed [Geekwire]

Sum and Substance: Seattle’s controversial ordinance that lets Uber and Lyft drivers unionize is on maintain but once more, throwing one other authorized wrench into the first-of-its-kind regulation, which has been dealing with challenges because it was handed final yr.  The regulation has fended off a number of of these challenges: Most lately, the 2 remaining lawsuits have been thrown out and a delay on implementing the regulation lifted. With that, it seemed to be clean crusing for the town to implement the landmark regulation and require corporations like Uber and Lyft to hand over driver contact info to union representatives by at present, Aug. 30.

However, now that milestone has been wiped away by the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals thanks to a short lived injunction granted Tuesday. The plaintiff in one of many lawsuits towards the ordinance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, requested for the injunction as a part of a request to delay implementation of the regulation till the attraction has been determined. The injunction stays in place till the courtroom decides whether or not or not to delay the ordinance through the attraction course of.

That conflicts with a separate determination final week, from U.S. District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik, that cleared the best way for the town to resume implementing the regulation. In addition to the chamber case, a gaggle of 11 Uber drivers represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation are interesting yet one more choice by Lasnik to throw out a lawsuit they filed again in March. “This scheme is simply a union power grab by the Teamsters who are looking for more forced union dues, and it violates federal law and these driver’s First Amendment rights,” stated Mark Mix, president of the inspiration. “Further, permitting ridesharing drivers to be forced into a union monopoly would end the flexibility that attracts many independent drivers to work with Uber and Lyft. We are committed to defending the rights of these drivers who want nothing to do with the Teamsters union.”

As the authorized gears proceed to grind, drivers each for and towards unionization are making their voices heard. Teamsters Local 117, the only group licensed to characterize drivers, stated in a press launch that it’ll proceed to battle to unionize drivers.

… Today, drivers related to a gaggle based by Uber and Eastside For Hire referred to as Drive Forward are protesting at Seattle Municipal Tower what they are saying is a refusal by the town to regulate its guidelines to permit extra drivers to vote on unionization. This isn’t the primary time the group has picketed in Seattle, as drivers confirmed up at City Hall in January to voice their opposition to the ordinance. …

The distinction of which drivers get to vote on collective bargaining continues to be the important thing situation for a lot of opponents of the regulation. New drivers who’ve been with their respective ride-hailing corporations for lower than 90 days don’t get a vote. Drivers additionally want to have made 52 journeys beginning or ending in Seattle throughout any three-month interval within the final yr to be eligible. Ride-hailing corporations like Uber and Lyft favor giving each driver a vote, with out the kind of restrictions in Seattle’s guidelines. In a weblog submit Tuesday, Lyft stated that these guidelines would disenfranchise roughly 70 % of its drivers, and for Uber, that quantity is about half.

My Take:  It’s robust to distinguish the great guys and the dangerous guys on this unfolding battle. Unions are certainly not clear of all stains of corruption. But and not using a unified voice to converse to Uber and Lyft, it’s unlikely that these corporations will yield on measures of elementary significance – measures that have an effect on their backside line in a cloth approach. In the meantime, as this laws winds its means via the courts, the PR machines on each side of the difficulty go into excessive gear.

Readers, what do you consider this week’s spherical up? What do you consider the self-driving automotive laws?

-John @ RSG

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