Saturday, November 11, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
'Technical fault' defence
If this one comes off, it could be a blockbuster!
Uber ordered to treat drivers as employees with full rights after losing appeal in landmark case
Uber has lost its appeal against a landmark ruling ordering it to treat its drivers as employees, paying them minimum wage and affording them full rights including sickness and holiday pay.
Two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, won the first round of the case in October last year.
But Uber challenged the ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London, saying it could deprive drivers of the “personal flexibility they value”.
Judge Jennifer Eady QC handed down her judgement months after Uber was dealt another blow by Transport for London (TfL), which said it will not renew the firm's licence.
The US-based Minicab operator has launched a separate appeal against that decision.
Thursday, November 09, 2017
As the technology that powers them advances, autonomous vehicles are getting safer all the time. But with human drivers still on the road, there are bound to be incidents and accidents for many years to come. And some of these will cross the technological divide.
Take the driverless shuttle service that launched on public roads in downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday. Just an hour into its operation, the vehicle crashed. But it wasn’t the fault of the technology powering it (allegedly)
The self-driving shuttle reportedly stopped when the truck suddenly appeared in front of it, but the semi-truck continued along its path, causing it to knock into the front corner of the shuttle.
The free service is part of a year-long pilot project launched this week by the AAA and transportation management company Keolis. Its goal is to learn more about how the public respond to driverless vehicles and how the technology fares in a real-world environment. No, it’s not the start the operator had been hoping for.
The electric shuttle is the work of French tech firm Navya, which has also been testing its autonomous vehicle in other parts of the U.S.. It holds up eight passengers, with seat belts mandatory during a ride. It can reach 27 mph, though will be traveling much more slowly on its Las Vegas journeys. As with other vehicles of its type, Navya’s shuttle uses a variety of systems to help it move safely along, including lidar and GPS technology. There’s no driver on board but there is an engineer who makes sure the shuttle operates as it should.
A similar driverless shuttle service has been operating in Vegas since the start of the year, and the one launched this week is an expanded version of it.
The details of this week’s accident are still sketchy, but it’ll be interesting to learn if the shuttle could’ve been in a position to take more effective avoiding action had its on-board computers been programmed differently, or if the collision was unavoidable. The majority of Americans are still skeptical about driverless-vehicle technology, and incidents like this will do little to help, but as the technology improves and people become more familiar with its potential, the public is expected to warm to the idea.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
We don't need autonomous vehicles to up the road traffic accident statistics. We've got uber drivers doing this already
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Five Uber drivers fleeced the instant hailing app out of £10,000 by taking bookings for rides paid for with stolen credit cards, a court heard.
Onome Omonoseh, 19, coordinated the “sophisticated” scam by setting up fake customer accounts to book lengthy journeys, racking up large bills which were charged to stolen credit cards.
Drivers Michael Julien, 50, Dan-Alexandru Pasat, 29, Kamlesh Sagoo, 62, Ibrahim Tekagac, 35, and Mihai Toader, 32, collected the hefty fees, and paid Omonoseh in cash for his part in the scam.
Southwark crown court heard Uber lost up to £10,000 to the fraud between February and December last year.
Omonoseh, the “coordinator”, is only thought to have made £1,760 despite playing a leading role.
“Mr Omonoseh was the main instigator of the frauds against Uber - creating bogus Uber customer accounts on the app and making bogus trips for which drivers were paid,” said prosecutor Stephen Requena.
“The details were taken from a website which sells credit card for fraudulent and criminal purposes.
“GPS location showed the mobile phone handset did not always travel with the drivers and in effect the fraud by Mr Omonoseh and the co-defendants was in collaboration.”
Judge Peter Ader, sentencing, said: “This was a sophisticated operation that took place over a period of time to defraud Uber of their commission and their fee. Each of of you played a part in this operation.”
He sentenced Omonoseh to eight months in a Young Offenders’ Institution and jailed Julien, who was involved in 17 fraudulent trips, for eight months.
Pasat, Tekagac, and Toader were each given six-month prison sentences suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £500 compensation each to Uber.
Sagoo, who made the least amount of money from the scam, was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and was told to pay Uber £486 in compensation.
Omonoseh, from Islington; Julien, from Southwark; Pasat, from Ilford; Sagoo, of Neasden; Tekagac, from Enfield; and Toader, from Stevenage, Herts, admitted fraud by false representation.