Uber's discrimination investigation recommends dozens of reforms within their company walls. A sign marks a pick-up point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York on March 15, 2017. Travis Kalanick, the combative and embattled CEO of ride-hailing giant Uber, resigned June 20, 2017 under pressure from investors at a pivotal time for the company. SAN FRANCISCO -- In the tumultuous months leading up to Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick's resignation, the ride-hailing company lost U.S. market share and saw its brand image tarnished, most notably by a former engineer's blog post blasting the ride-hailing company for its sexist work environment. Among several surveys tracking the company's decline: one based on credit card spending, which found over the past two years, Uber's share of rides has dropped to 75% from 90%, according to TXN Solutions.
The ride-hailing company with a glittering informal valuation of $70 billion shot itself in the foot on Saturday, public-image-wise, by apparently sending drivers to New York's Kennedy airport during a one-hour taxi drivers' strike staged to protest President Trump's immigrant and refugee ban. That action, in which Uber announced it would suspend "surge" charges on Kennedy airport trips during the strike, provoked thousands of Uber users to adopt the "#DeleteUber" hashtag on Twitter, signifying that they were removing the company's ride-ordering app from their smartphones. Hours later, Uber was backpedaling furiously, tweeting that the firm had not been trying to break the strike. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick subsequently announced a $3-million defense fund for Uber drivers caught in Trump's immigration net and issued a bland statement about Trump's executive order that stopped short of actually criticizing it. He merely observed that "allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.'s policy since its founding."
A self-driving Lexus SUV owned by Google's parent company Alphabet struck a bus February 14 while it was testing on the streets of Mountain View, Calif. SAN FRANCISCO -- The FBI-Apple encryption battle is just the beginning of an important debate this country needs to have about what to do when U.S. innovation outpaces American law. The FBI's failure to get data it wanted from an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists -- despite significant help from Apple -- shows that time has arrived once again. As with the coming of the telephone, the car, the radio and TV, the spread of the mobile Internet has gotten ahead of case law. In this case, with hand-held smartphones now ubiquitous, a consumer technology has outstripped the ability of the government to complete an important terrorist investigation.
Lyft casts itself as the softer, kinder alternative to Uber. But there's nothing gentle about the way the country's second-largest ride-hailing company is capitalizing on its chief rival's missteps. While Uber has been engulfed in months of turmoil, capped off Tuesday by the release of the findings of an investigation into workplace culture and news of founder Travis Kalanick's hiatus, Lyft has raised an additional $600 million in funding to fuel its expansion. It has announced a deal with Jaguar Land Rover to unveil a fleet of luxury vehicles, once Uber's forte, and announced self-driving car partnerships with General Motors and Google's parent company, Alphabet, which is suing Uber, accusing it of stealing trade secrets. And don't think for a second that Lyft wasn't giddy about the #DeleteUber campaign in January, when social media users lashed out at Uber for appearing to continue to offer service at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York during a taxi strike over President Trump's ban on travel from seven majority Muslim countries.
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