Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Of course that e-mail was totally ignored, so I followed up with an e-mail on 21 December requesting a reply.
To date I have been totally ignored, not even an acknowledgement, that demonstrates the contempt in which we are held by TfL!
Dear Val Shawcross
Re: the above
On the 3/ 07/ 2015, Über Technologies inc. admitted under oath that from the point where a passenger determines to find a car (and driver) to the point where the passenger is in the car they (Über) are not party to the procedure.
A rudimentary description follows that software is downloaded in advance of the intended is activated by the passenger at the time and place of his/ her choosing. The server then relays messages between the passenger and prospective drivers using their respective versions of the App. The driver himself then directly makes the booking. Accordingly, none of the respondents can be described as meeting statutory regulations of either a Taxi or PHV/D business model, as set forth and arbitrated by Transport for London (TFL).
TfL Operator License terms state that a Private Hire Booking can only be accepted by a licensed operator at their registered operating centre. A driver is permitted to hold an operators license but a moving vehicle cannot be considered as a registered operating centre.
The conclusion therefore is that Über are operating outside the terms of their operators license, and because the sequence of the booking procedure is referenced regularly by TfL, the primary assumption is either Uber are guilty of misapplication or TFL are abusing procedure by allowing Uber to operate by their own self- determined parameters.
Although TfL are steadfast in not discussing individual circumstances that might effect their PHO license , I would assert that the licensing criteria, and any change thereof , is solely the province of TfL. The Operator merely obliges the criteria, or has that now changed? Any alteration made specifically to this criterion constitutes a fundamental change in the way PH are pre-booked, and I don't recall it's inclusion as part of the lengthy and thorough PH consultation?
For reasons pertaining to safety, the remit of TfL has a concomitant responsibility to ensure the London's taxi industry, both driver and vehicle, meet stringent licensing requirements. For the most part this has worked well, therefore I trust you will look in to this issue as the potential consequences related to further indistinction between taxis and PH is not to be welcomed.
Sean Paul Day
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Uber has launched a website for a service called Uber Freight.
Little has been revealed about the company’s expansion from ride-hailing, but if the announcements it’s made over the last year are any indicator, chances are good that Uber Freight is meant to prepare the world for autonomous delivery trucks. So taxi drivers leaving the trade to go back to truck driving.....think again, you could be looking for another new job next year too.
Uber acquired a startup called Otto, which planned to bring the first self-driving trucks to market, in August. Since then the company has used its trucks to deliver 50,000 cans of beerand hundreds of Christmas trees in San Francisco.
This new service won’t use those trucks, at least not at the beginning. Instead it will function much like Uber’s existing platform: Some people will sign up to drive items across the country, and others will join so they can send packages without having to sign a contract with established shipping companies. The service will likely bring “surge pricing” to trucking, too.
Uber Freight could also help Otto’s trucks by using data gathered from drivers on the platform. This would allow the self-driving vehicles to learn from experienced people while regulators figure out how to govern autonomous trucks and the technology catches up to all of the promises made by its creators. Why put off entering a whole new market — shipping and commuting don’t tend to overlap — when the company could just use human drivers until its semi-trucks are ready?
It turns out that Otto had similar plans. Business Insider reported in October that the startup eventually wanted to introduce a platform like Uber’s. The acquisition didn’t just give Otto access to more resources or help Uber work on self-driving vehicles; it let the companies work together instead of trying to compete with each other. (I suspect the more business-inclined would call this “synergy.”)
Uber Freight’s launch coincides with growing interest in trucking from many tech companies. Nikola Motor Company wants to use tech to make trucking more environmentally friendly and appealing to millennials; Tesla’s working on self-driving trucks; the list could go on.
But it will be interesting to see where Uber lands on the driver problem. Nikola has been clear in its commitment to making good drivers happy, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that automating jobs like truck-driving could lead to universal basic income. Uber Freight lands in the middle — it needs human drivers now, but it’s likely to switch to autonomous trucks as soon as mechanically possible.
Uber said it’s going to wait until the new year to elaborate on how the system works. “We don’t have any new information to share at the moment,” a spokesperson said, “but hope to in the new year so please do stay in touch.” It looks like the future of trucking — or at least one potential future — is going to take a little while longer to make its debut.