New Jersey gets paid, a robot crashes a crime scene and Uber gets hacked. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
Uber had a busy week. New partnerships, big tax bills, capitalizing on inflation, and being hacked. It’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.
Uber taps Nuro for more AV delivery. Tech Crunch reported:
Uber will use Nuro autonomous delivery vehicles to shuttle meals and other goods to its Eats customers as part of a 10-year commercial deal between the two companies. As you might expect, this is going to start small (certain sections in Houston and Mountain View, California) and grow from there.
Uber Eats customers will be charged the same for delivery, regardless of if it’s a Nuro bot or a human gig worker. However, there may be some cost savings as Nuro bots can’t accept tips. Customers won’t know at the time of their order whether they’re getting their own delivery or whether it’s a typical courier delivery. If the Eats customer pre-selects the tip option and Nuro makes the delivery, that tip will be refunded.
Uber pays up…at the tune of $100 million. Reuters reported:
Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) said on Monday it back-paid New Jersey $100 million in unemployment taxes over classifying drivers as contractors, but added that it did not agree with the state’s view that drivers were “employees.”
Uber also said it only paid a fraction of what the state had originally demanded in its audit, which was over $1 billion. The ride-hailing company made a payment of $12.1 million, while its subsidiary Raiser paid about $88 million.
Uber’s CEO thinks inflation is getting more drivers on the road. CNBC reported:
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC’s “TechCheck” on Monday that as expenses rise and people are paying more for essentials like groceries, they are also signing up to drive for Uber.
“If anything, 72% of drivers in the U.S. are saying that one of the considerations of their signing up to drive on Uber was actually inflation,” he said.
Khosrowshahi said inflation is “everywhere,” but Uber is not seeing any signs of weaknesses as a result.
Gude was on the perimeter of a suspected shooting at Hollywood High School at approximately 10 a.m. PDT when he saw a food delivery robot rolling down the sidewalk, approaching the yellow caution tape delineating the crime scene.
“I just saw it coming and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Gude told Gizmodo on the phone. Gude explained that the robot kept trying to aggressively maneuver around the tape until a cameraman lifted it up to let the robot through. The robot then made its way through the active crime scene at the high school, passing by a group of Los Angeles Police Department officers. “I thought to myself ‘What did I just capture?’” Gude said. LAPD did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Uber was hacked by a teen…and their employees thought it was a joke. The Verge reported:
The alleged hacker, who claims to be an 18-year old, says they have administrator access to company tools including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. The New York Times reports that the ride-hailing business has taken multiple internal systems, including Slack, offline while it investigates the breach.
The hacker appears to have made themselves known to Uber’s employees by posting a message on the company’s internal Slack system. “I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach,” screenshots of the messagecirculating on Twitter read. The claimed hacker then listed confidential company information they said they’d accessed, and posted a hashtag saying that Uber underpays its drivers.
The Slack message from the alleged hacker was so brazen that many Uber employees appear to have initially thought it was a joke, the Washington Postreports. Employee responses to the post included lighthearted emoji like sirens and popcorn, as well as the “it’s happening” GIF. One unnamed Uber employee told Yuga Labs security engineer Sam Curry that staff were interacting with the hacker thinking they were playing a joke.