Uber Technologies, Inc is an American technology company based in San Francisco. The startup launched in San Francisco in 2011, after Garrett Camp, founder and CEO of Uber spent $800 on a car ride. Currently Uber has maintained an estimate of 93million monthly users worldwide, with operations in over 900 metropolitan areas. They have also maintained a 71% market share for ride-sharing, making Uber one of the largest firms in the gig industry.
Uber uses a dynamic pricing model to determine the cost of a ride, this means that the price of a ride between point A and point B will depend on the availability of the riders and the demand of rides in that area. Passengers can get rides conveniently with fixed prices, while the drivers can get a steady supply of passengers throughout the day in exchange for 25% of the income generated by every ride.
Uber also provides different types of cars, for different income groups, meaning that a person can choose between average costing and more expensive rides. A main attraction of Uber over taxis and public transport is safety. Through the app, passengers can track their rides and even share the details with their loved ones. Secondly, the drivers are verified as they have to register with Uber and meet their criteria to be able to gain employment. Both these things have enabled primarily women and children to favour Uber. The app also allows for riders to rate their experience after every single ride, this allows Uber to take action against any complaints passengers may have and to keep a check on a driver’s performance.
- An uber car
Over the years, Uber has diversified by investing and acquiring different businesses and firms, as well as by launching new services. A prime example would be Uber eats which has become an infamous food delivery application with a market share of 22%. Couriers and package delivery have also been launched along with: Uberpool, a carpooling app. The acquisition of Careem, a competitor in the ride-sharing market. And an Uber grocery delivery service in Latin America, Miami, Canada and Dallas.
- Uber app home page, showing options to book a ride, order food and groceries
However, Uber has come under fire due to sexual harassment allegations, discrimination against passengers, tax evasion and misleading workers. In Feb 2017, Susan Fowler, an engineer at Uber came forward claiming to have been a subject of sexual harassment and that Uber management helped to cover it up. Furthermore, in Jan 2017 Uber agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the US government after the Federal Trade Commission accused Uber of misleading drivers of potential earnings.
Safety concerns have also become a big issue as lawsuits have claimed that no serious actions were taken to prevent sexual harassment cases nor to make vehicles more accessible for service animals and people with disabilities.
If Uber can resolve some of its main conflicts and ensure safety and accountability towards both its users and employees, there is no doubt Uber will continue to grow and lead the ride-sharing market alongside diversifying and experimenting in new projects and applications.