Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Uber Tracking Drivers

A company we are all very familiar with, Uber, is beginning to use information systems to track their drivers. They can now use GPS coordinates to track the speed of the vehicle, breaking and any other movements. This system was originally put in place 6 months ago into China to track whether drivers were attending protests but the use for it has evolved to help out in customer safety.
               Most of the time you take an Uber they are relatively safe but there are always certain circumstances where someone has a rough ride. Uber gets tons of complaints everyday about their drivers not behaving in the correct fashion and now they can use their GPS data to find out if the complaints are legitimate. Often times some people complain because they know they can get a free ride out of it. Uber would never argue over a $20 complaint about someone driving poorly. They would rather refund the money and have each party move on. Now, if they notice that someone is reporting their drivers often they can look into whether the driver broke any laws. The technology they use goes as far as even showing their acceleration and deceleration. This means whether or not they slam on the breaks often and create an uncomfortable ride. This way they can refund people who deserve is and not the ones who do not.
               Most of the time people don’t make up that the ride was uncomfortable or safe. It actually was and Uber should do something about that if the driver is a repeat offender. They can’t afford to have drivers on the road who don’t care about not only themselves but their passenger’s safety. This application of their new technology can help save people’s lives by getting poor drivers off the road.
               Even though you have the technology to do things that are going to be beneficial to your company doesn’t mean that it’s legal. The article touches on the fact that Uber drivers are going to be undoubtedly upset about this new monitoring. Uber already faces lawsuit that will start in June on how they treat their drivers and what they can legally do with the technology that they have access to. When you are dealing with technology and what you can do with it there are always limitations.  Uber has done a tremendous job with developing the technology to keep people safe but they have to use it correctly within the law.

               I think the article might overlook the exact details of how they get their information. I know the GPS signal is key but in which was is it used? Is there a way for drivers to explain why they may have stopped short? You never know if there is an accident. Do more people need to be hired to look over this new technology? It could be too high tech for a normal person to look at. It may require another set of eyes.


  1. Being an avid user of Uber, I found this article very interesting. I have been in several Ubers where the driver was not driving very safe and I had an uncomfortable experience. I think that it is honorable that Uber is presenting the possibility of monitoring their drivers more carefully using GPS navigation. Being able to detect whether or not a car was braking often or accelerating faster than normal, would be a good way of detecting unsafe driving. GPS navigation could also aid Uber in making sure that their drivers are taking the shortest route for their passengers and not traveling out of the way so that they may get a larger fare. While it is rare, I know of someone personally who felt that their driver was trying to abduct them. While the driver was reported by the police, this GPS system could ensure that no drivers are going off course when they have a passenger. It would be difficult to have drivers agree to having this new system in their vehicle. Uber is already struggling with bringing in new drivers to the Baltimore area, which is why there is usually a surge on fares. Making drivers have a tracking system, may lead drivers to quit or discourage other people from becoming drivers. Whether or not this policy is passed, it can make the Uber experience better for the passenger.

  2. I found this article to be interesting because I use Uber very often as well. So far, I have had okay experiences with it. However, I have heard of other people who have not had great experience with it. For example, I have heard that some of the drivers drive way too fast and the passengers have not felt very safe when this occurs. I like this idea of monitoring Uber drivers, but I don't see how or if Uber drivers will be willing to agree to have this implemented. Will Uber drivers like this idea of being tracked or monitored? Or will they think that it is, in a way, an invasion of their privacy?
    I feel that this new idea of tracking Uber drivers would be very beneficial. The GPS coordinates will be able to see if the drivers are speeding or driving in an unsafe manner. In addition, you stated that the GPS coordinates could track any other movements. Therefore, it could track if the driver goes off route and I feel that this would be very beneficial because I have heard of passengers thinking that their Uber drivers aren't taking them where they want to go, or that the drivers purposely take a route that is longer or out of the way just so that they can earn more money.
    Overall I believe that this new GPS system would be very beneficial if they can get Uber drivers to agree to it.


  3. Similar to the previous commenters, I am a very frequent Uber customer. I have had my share of great rides, and I have had my share of terrible ones. In one of my Uber experiences, I was on my way to BWI airport to fly home for break, and my driver ran over a nail on the road and got a flat tire half way through the trip. He had taken an incredibly long route to begin with, and at the time he got a flat tire my plane was boarding in less than an hour. He continued driving—without exceeding 15 mph—toward the airport, until he realized that what he was doing was incredibly unsafe. I had to call a new Uber to pick me up on the side of the highway, and prayed that I would not miss my flight.
    After this experience, I had to be the one to report to Uber what had happened, and luckily received all of my money back. However, it is frightening that Uber drivers have the freedom to work on their own and do not report to anyone but himself or herself. The idea of Uber is very convenient—you have the ability to find and request a personal driver in seconds—but their initial idea is not very realistic. Anyone can sign up to be a driver, which is very nerve-wracking to customers.
    Being able to monitor their drivers will help Uber to become a much safer corporation, and will give their customers piece of mind.

  4. The concept of this uprising information technology is very interesting to me, especially because it affects me and can have an impact on the way I utilize Uber in the future. As a college student near am large city, getting transportation is very common, especially through taxi cabs and Uber. Uber allows for a convenient and, mostly, an inexpensive way of transportation that is most appealing to the college population.
    I feel that the implementation of safety precautions is valuable because it allows for the customer to take the well-being into their own hands. Having the drivers be aware that their customers can see their driving habits will force everyone to keep their driving up to par. I also felt that this blog very well explained the legal aspect to this technology. Most people, when referring to this app, only think about the personal safety of the customers. As important as that is, the safety of the people around the driver is just as important.
    A few things that I feel could have been explained more in this blog post was, first off, the creation of jobs for the people who may have to analyze the feedback of this technology in order to see if the drivers are driving appropriately. Will there be more than one type of job in this field? Next, I feel that the proof that the customers will have to have in the future if they were to complain is blurry in this post. Is there a way to keep a record of the driver’s habits? Overall, this blog post was very intriguing and insightful.

  5. I think that this technology would be great. I have been in an uber accident where the driver of my car was driving too fast. I think that another complaint that can also be addressed is the route that drivers take. I have also been in ubers where the driver purposely takes a longer route costing me more. If the technology can also track this I think that Uber will be even better off not having to return money to customers. As mentioned above anyone can be an Uber driver, which does bring about safety concerns, I believe with this technology that this will be safer for passengers, and drivers will be more aware of their driving knowing that they are being watched.

  6. I think that this is a very important piece of technology. Despite the fact that the majority of Uber driver’s are safe and reliable, there have been instances where this has not been true. GPS tracking of Uber drivers is important in cases where people have been kidnapped, or a victim of assault by an Uber driver. If the Uber driver is not driving in the correct direction towards the destination, Uber as a company should be aware of that. Furthermore, if an Uber driver is taking advantage of someone who does not know where they are and drive a much longer route than necessary, the rider should not be charged for that. The only way for a rider not to be charged for that would be if they could prove that the Uber driver did not take the correct route. Additionally, the ability to make sure that the driver was driving in a safe manner is important. Personally, I have been in an Uber that drove about 30 miles per hour above the speed limit, and felt that affected my safety. Uber should track these speeds to make sure that their drivers are upholding the law, and making the riders feel safe and comfortable. I do not understand why this would upset an Uber driver. If they are following the rules and have nothing to hide, these new precautions should not bother them.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.