Tag Archive: Transportation



Uber is taking further steps to ramp up the safety of women passengers in India, its largest overseas market. The ride-hailing company on Friday partnered with the Delhi Police to integrate features from the latter’s Himmat women’s safey app.

The quick access to Himmat from within Uber app will act as a “force multiplier,” the company said. Himmat app, which was launched by the Delhi Police in 2015, has over 31,000 registered users with over 90,000 downloads. It allows passengers to send a distress call to the Police Control Room and their relatives in an event of emergency. When a passenger taps the distress call option, a 30-second audio and video recording from the phone is relayed to the authority. It is the first time Delhi Police has partnered with a technology company, Uber said.

Himmat will be accessible to New Delhi residents first, but Uber said it plans to extend the reach to all women passengers in India. More than five million people take rides in Uber’s cabs in the country, the company announced this week.

“Combining access to the Himmat app through Uber is a big step towards strengthening the safety net available to lakhs of women riders. We applaud the efforts taken by the Delhi Police to prioritise safety of women and believe that the Himmat app is a great initiative in this direction,” Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Head – Public Policy, Uber India & South Asia, said in a press statement.

The safety of passengers has been a concerning issue for women in both Ola and Uber cab services. The companies, however, have introduced several features and options – including a panic button in some cars – to strengthen their safety.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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A Delhi court on Monday summoned as accused app-based cab service providers, including Ola and Uber, for allegedly violating permit rules.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra summoned ANI Technologies which runs Ola, Uber India Systems and Serendipity Infolabs which runs ‘Taxi For Sure’ and directed their authorised representatives to appear before it on December 11.

The court’s order came while allowing the plea of NGO, Nyayabhoomi, seeking prosecution of the three firms under various provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

The court had earlier recorded pre-summoning evidence advanced by the NGO through its secretary Rakesh Agarwal, in support of the complaint, which also sought summoning of the three firms as accused.

The NGO, which filed the complaint throught advocate Sumit Kumar Modi, also sought recovery of a whopping Rs. 91,000 crores from cab service providers for allegedly not adhering to rules relating to fares and not operating by meters.

The NGO has also sought recovery of an additional penalty of Rs. 26,000 crores from the firms and jail term for them.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


EU member states can ban ride-hailing pioneer Uber without informing the European Commission because at heart it is an ordinary transport company under their jurisdiction, a top EU lawyer said Tuesday.

San Francisco-based Uber insists it is a service, not a transport provider, connecting riders with freelance drivers directly and much more cheaply than traditional cab companies.

But critics and competitors say this allows it to dodge costly regulation and several countries, led by France, have banned its low-cost UberPOP service as a result.

Uber France challenged the ban, saying it amounted to regulation of an information company which Paris should have first lodged with the Commission, the European Union’s administrative arm.

However, Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general with the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, said Uber was in fact an ordinary transport company and so member states could go ahead and regulate its activities without notifying the Commission in advance.

He recalled that in a May 11 opinion on a related case concerning Uber Spain, he had concluded that UberPOP “does not constitute an information society service.”

Szpunar also argued that even if the ECJ, the EU’s highest court, should at some stage determine UberPOP was indeed an information service provider, a ban in response to “the illegal exercise of a transport activity does not constitute a technical regulation within the meaning of the directive.”

 

“Notification of the draft law to the Commission would not be necessary in that situation either,” he said.

He argued that member states only had a duty to notify the Commission if they took a specific, targeted action against information service providers.

“Rules which affect those services only in an implicit or incidental manner are excluded from the notification obligation,” he said.

The ECJ’s advocate generals – its top lawyers – are regularly called on to provide initial guidance to the court which in most instances follows their advice in its final rulings.

The French authorities banned Uber after violent protests by traditional taxi drivers.

Uber in turn filed complaint with the EU against France and other states, arguing that national policies hostile to its operations violate European law.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Tesla’s high-volume Model 3 sedan passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule, Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday night.

“(Model 3) Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500,” Musk said on Twitter. “Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec.”

“Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday,” Musk added.

SN1 is the first car off assembly line for sale, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters.

Musk said in May Tesla was on track to begin production of the $35,000 Model 3 in July.

Tesla had said earlier, it expected to produce over 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of this year and 10,000 vehicles per week “at some point in 2018”.

Reuters reported in February that the electric carmaker had shut down production at its California assembly plant for a week for production of the Model 3 sedan, to meet its target of starting production in July.

Tesla’s previous launches for its Model S sedan and Model X sports utility vehicle were hit by production delays and initial quality issues.

That track record meant some analysts were skeptical about the model’s July launch.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


After years toiling away in secret on its car project, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has for the first time laid out exactly what the company is up to in the automotive market: It’s concentrating on self-driving technology.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on June 5. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook said in his most detailed comments to date on Apple’s plans in the car space. “It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”

The prospect of self-driving cars has seen a slew of technology companies push into the auto industry, which is estimated to be worth $6.7 trillion (roughly Rs. 431,29,903 crores) by 2030, according to McKinsey & Co. Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit has signed partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Lyft Inc. to develop the technology. And carmakers from BMW AG to General Motors Co. have opened sizable Silicon Valley offices and dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire autonomous vehicle startups.

Apple had initially been seeking to build its own car, before recalibrating those ambitions last year to prioritise the underlying technology for autonomous driving, Bloomberg News reported. The iPhone maker had hired more than 1,000 engineers to work on Project Titan, as the car team is known internally, after it started in 2014.

Ballooning costs and headcount led to Apple veteran Bob Mansfield being given the reins of the team in 2016. Cook has never before openly outlined Apple’s plans, though public filings have surfaced in recent months that provided snapshots of Apple’s efforts.

The iPhone maker secured a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April to test three self-driving sports-utility vehicles, photos of which emerged several weeks later. A half-dozen vehicles had been surreptitiously testing the autonomous technology on public roads in and around the San Francisco Bay area for at least a year, according to someone familiar with Project Titan. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on how long the company has been conducting road tests.

 

In December, Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, penned a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealing the company’s interest in automotive technology. It became public when it was published on a federal website. In the letter, Kenner wrote about the company’s excitement surrounding the potential for automated systems in fields like transportation.

“There is a major disruption looming there,” Cook said on Bloomberg Television, citing self-driving technology, electric vehicles and ride-hailing. “You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame.”

Cook was also bullish about the prospects for electric vehicles, a market which last week helped Tesla Inc. become the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker by market capitalisation, even as it ranks well outside the top 10 by unit sales.

“It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station,” Cook said.

Apple invested $1 billion last year in Didi Chuxing, the biggest Chinese ride-hailing service. The announcement came soon after Mansfield took over Project Titan and set about cutting hundreds of engineers. Whereas Apple had initially been building its own car, Mansfield scrapped those plans in favor of building an autonomous driving system. The company will make a decision on whether to proceed with the push later this year, the people said at the time.

In the interview on Bloomberg Television, Cook was hesitant to disclose whether Apple will ultimately manufacture its own car. “We’ll see where it takes us,” Cook said. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Uber has unarguably made life easier for many. But the taxi-aggregator service’s customer support remains far from being perfect. The good news is, the company is finally trying to fix this aspect of the ride experience, it appears. Uber has begun improving its in-app support feature to resolve customer responses faster and more efficiently.

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Uber is killing its boilerplate and not-as-effective email support system. The company has started to upgrade the Help menu in Uber’s app which will facilitate faster and more efficient resolution of cancellation fees, missed items, and complaints about driver and other issues, reports TechInsider, citing executives at the company. A bunch of things such as cancellation and refund requests that don’t require human interaction will be handled by the system, whereas other things will be taken care of by representatives of Uber.

The help menu in the app will soon get the ability to message customer support directly, check detailed history with receipts, as well as an option to quickly report an issue. “The old system added a bunch of friction to actually getting to the classification of the issue and ultimately the right response,” Michael York, Uber’s head of “customer obsession,” told the publication.

While revealing these upcoming features, York noted the issues Uber and its customers are facing with the existing system. He noted that if a passenger doesn’t report an issue with the company immediately, the company would not have much idea about a specific ride.

The company has begun phasing out the email support system, though it might take sometime before you get the in-app support. Uber says it is beginning the process in the United States and will move to other countries later.

Separately, Uber is now allowing third-party websites and apps to bring their branding and functionality to Uber ride experience. The company says that developers that utilise deeplinks or Ride Reminders will now be able to engage with users more efficiently. Uber has already partnered with a number of big players including Zomato and American Airlines.

The idea is to make two apps work together and enhance the user experience. For instance, let’s say you’re on your way to an airport, you will be able to order in-flight Wi-Fi data package before reaching there. Uber gives another example, “Zomato lets you request a ride from a restaurant’s page in their app. Now they are taking this a step further and will let you easily check out the menu before you arrive.”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)