Uber Promises to Stop Using Greyball Tech

March 9, 2017
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Last week, Uber admitted to using “greyball” technology to prevent enforcement officials from accessing its ride-hailing app. But in its latest effort to make nice with regulators, the company has prohibited this technology going forward.

Because some cities across the country have banned Uber, the company has used “greyball” technology to prevent authorities from seeing available cars for hire on the app or putting in their credit card and phone number information. Uber says it will take time before the rule is fully enforceable.

The ride-hailing company is also beginning to walk on the straight-and-narrow when it comes to autonomous car permits. After initially refusing to comply, Uber finally obtained a permit to operate self-driving cars on California streets. Last year, California revoked registrations for Uber’s entire fleet of self-driving cars because they weren’t permitted, yet Uber argued its vehicle didn’t fit the state’s definition of an “autonomous” car since a human is behind the wheel at all times.

So far, Uber has received permission to test just two self-driving cars in the state. More vehicles are expected to follow once they are all smog tested and registered.

It’s hard to count all of the scandals that have rocked the young company in the past several years, let alone the past few months. Waymo has sued Uber alleging that it stole intellectual property, a claim which Uber says is false. Meanwhile, CEO Travis Kalanick was seen on video arguing with an Uber driver, and separately, a former employee has come forward alleging that sexual harassment was commonplace in the company. Three top executives have left the company in recent weeks.

Source: Reuters (1, 2)

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