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Uber Technologies Inc.
Formerly called
UberCab (2009–2011)
Founded March 2009; 9 years ago (2009-03)
Founders Travis Kalanick
Garrett Camp
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide, 633 cities[1]
Key people
Products Mobile app, website

IncreaseUS$6.5 billion (2016)[2].

IncreaseUS$ 7.5 billion (2017)

DecreaseUS$-2.8 billion(2016)[2]

DecreaseUS$ -4.5 billion (2017)
Total assets

IncreaseUS$ 15.7 billion (2016)

DecreaseUS$ 15.3 billion (2017)
Number of employees
12,000 + [3]
Divisions UberEATS, Otto
Icon for Uber rider app as of May 2017
An Uber ride in Bogotá, Colombia running the Uber app on his dashboard-mounted smartphone
Yellow Uber car in Moscow, Russia

Uber Technologies Inc. is a peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, and transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with operations in 633 cities worldwide. Its platforms can be accessed via its websites and mobile apps.

The name "Uber" is a reference to the common (and somewhat colloquial) word "uber", meaning "topmost" or "super", and having its origins in the German word über, meaning "above".[4]

Uber has been a pioneer in the sharing economy, so much so that the changes in industries as a result of it have been referred to as Uberisation.[5][6][7] Uber has also been the subject of protests and legal actions and the subject of a criminal investigation for its use of Greyball.



Levels of service

Uber offers various service levels and types. Not all service levels or types are available in every city.

Ride service levels include:[8]

  • UberBLACK offers a black luxury vehicle
  • UberKIDS provides a car with a child safety seat
  • UberPETS includes pet transport
  • UberPOOL, available for up to 2 people per party, is the lowest cost level of service, in which the customer may share a ride with other passengers going in the same general direction
  • UberPOP offers a compact or subcompact car
  • UberSELECT provides a car with a leather interior
  • UberSUV offers an SUV
  • UberX provides a private ride in a standard car for up to 4 passengers
  • UberXL provides a larger car that can seat up to 6 passengers
  • UberWAV offers a wheelchair accessible vehicle


  • UberAUTO, available in Pakistan, provides transportation by auto rickshaw.[9]
  • UberBOAT, a water-taxi service. In Istanbul, it offers transportation by Beneteau boats across the Bosporus strait.[10] It also offers speedboats in the summer along the coast of Croatia.[11] UberBOAT has also run in other cities during special events such as across Biscayne Bay during Miami Art Week.[12][13]
  • UberGo, available in India, provides for a ride in a hatchback.[14]
  • UberTAXI, which is available in some markets, allows users to summon a taxi using the Uber software application.[15] Users pay an additional booking fee and can leave a gratuity through the app.[15] The service is designed to appease taxi drivers who protest the increased competition from Uber.[15]

Among the other service types are:

  • UberAIR (Uber Elevate), a program expected to debut in 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Dubai, and Los Angeles, which consists of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, commonly known as "flying cars".[16]
  • UberEATS, which provides meal delivery from participating restaurants within 30 minutes, for a fee.[17]
  • UberRUSH, a courier package delivery service available in Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco.[18]

Limited services

DeLorean "time machine" provided by Uber

Uber offers additional services in certain cities during special events. For example:

How it works

Riding with Uber

Riders are quoted the fare that they will pay before requesting the ride.[33] Uber uses a dynamic pricing model; prices vary based on projected time and distance as well as the time of day and the supply and demand for rides at the time the ride is requested.[34] At the end of the ride, payment is made based on the rider's pre-selected preferences, which could be a credit card on file, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, cash, or, in India, Airtel mobile wallet,[35] or Unified Payments Interface.[36] After the ride is over, in the United States, the rider is given the option to provide a gratuity to the driver, which is also billed to the rider's payment method.[37]

Driving with Uber

In some markets where leasing arrangements for vehicles are available, the only requirement for driving for Uber, other than appropriate age, health, car age and type, and ability to drive, is passing a background check.[38] Both a smartphone or tablet, and a vehicle may be leased.[39] In many cities, vehicles used by Uber drivers must pass annual safety inspections and must have an Uber emblem posted in the passenger window.

Drivers must have a smartphone. Uber drivers use their own cars[40][41] although drivers can rent a car to drive with Uber.[42]

Legislation in some cities, such as San Francisco, requires individuals who drive for Uber to also have a business license in the city in which they drive.[43]

Uber drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees, though this has been disputed in some legal jurisdictions.[44]

A mechanism called "Real-Time ID Check" requires some drivers to occasionally take selfies before accepting ride requests, to verify identity and prevent drivers' accounts from being compromised.[45][46]

Rating scores

After each journey, the users and drivers may both rate each other on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Uber can deactivate or otherwise punish drivers who do not receive high average ratings from riders;[47] in turn, low-scoring users might find they have lower levels of availability from the service.[48][49][50] If a driver rates a rider at three stars or below, the rider will never be paired with that driver again.[51] Passenger can see their ratings in their profiles. Drivers can see a passenger's rating once a ride is requested; once the driver accepts, the passenger will see the driver's rating.


Travis Kalanick, former CEO of Uber, in 2013

Uber was founded in 2009 as UberCab by Garrett Camp, the co-founder of StumbleUpon, and Travis Kalanick, who had sold his Red Swoosh startup for $19 million in 2007.[52][53]

On New Year's Eve, Camp spent $800 hiring a private driver with friends and had been mulling over ways to decrease the cost of black car services ever since. He realized that sharing the cost with people could make it affordable, and his idea morphed into Uber. Kalanick joined Camp and gives him "full credit for the idea" of Uber.[54] "Garrett is the guy who invented that shit," Kalanick said at an early Uber event in San Francisco.[54] The first prototype was built by Camp and his friends, Oscar Salazar and Conrad Whelan, with Kalanick being brought on as a "mega advisor" to the company.[54]

Following a beta launch in May 2010, Uber's services and mobile app officially launched in San Francisco in 2011.[55][56] Originally, the application only allowed users to hail a black luxury car and the price was 1.5 times that of a taxi.[57]

In February 2010, Ryan Graves became the first Uber employee, getting the job by responding to a tweet from Kalanick announcing the job opening, and receiving 5–10% of the company. Graves started out as general manager and shortly after the launch was named as CEO.[58] After ten months Kalanick succeeded Graves as CEO in December 2010.[54][55][59][60] Graves stepped down to become the company's COO.[61]

In 2011, the company changed its name from UberCab to Uber after complaints from San Francisco taxi operators.[62]

During the initial development of the Uber app, the company created a think tank consisting of a nuclear physicist, a computational neuroscientist, and a machinery expert who worked on predicting demand for private hire car drivers and where demand is highest.[52][63]


In July 2012, the company introduced UberX, a service option which allows people to drive for Uber using non-luxury vehicles, subject to a background check, registration requirement, and car standards.[64] At first, rates were similar to those of taxis and were 35% cheaper than UberBLACK.[65] By early 2013, the service was operating in 35 cities.[66] Rates were quickly lowered, which caused some dissatisfaction among UberBLACK and taxi drivers, whose earnings decreased as a result of the increased competition at lower rates.[67]


In August 2014, after a beta testing phase in the San Francisco Bay Area, Uber launched UberPOOL, a carpooling service.[68][69] In November 2014, the service launched in Paris.[70] In December 2014, UberPOOL launched in New York City.[71] In October 2015, it launched in Washington, D.C.[72] In June 2016, it launched in Singapore.[73] In December 2015, it launched in London.[74]

Self-driving car research

Uber autonomous vehicle Volvo XC90 in San Francisco

In early 2015, the company hired many researchers from the robotics department of Carnegie Mellon University and established Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in the Strip District, Pittsburgh to develop self-driving cars.[75][76][77]

On September 14, 2016, Uber launched its first self-driving car services to select customers in Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto using a fleet of Ford Fusion cars each equipped with 20 cameras, seven lasers, GPS, lidar and radar equipment that enables the car to create a three-dimensional map utilizing landmarks and other contextual information to keep track of its position.[78][79][80]

On December 14, 2016, Uber began using self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs in its hometown of San Francisco.[81] On December 21, 2016, the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of the 16 vehicles Uber was using for the test and forced the program to cease operations in California.[82] Uber then moved the program to Arizona, where the cars are picking up passengers, albeit with two Uber engineers in the front seats as a safety precaution.[83] In March 2017, an Uber self-driving car was flipped on its side by a vehicle which failed to yield.[84]

Nonetheless, the company announced in November 2017 that it planned to buy up to 24,000 Volvo cars designed to accept autonomous technology between 2019 and 2021. This non-binding intent includes a plan for Uber Advanced Technologies Group to design and build the self-driving system in the XC90 SUV vehicles.[85] In 2016, the two companies had announced that they planned to collaborate on the design and financing of cars with self-driving systems. Such vehicles require a different type of steering and braking mechanism, as well as sensors. The CEO of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson, made this comment in an interview: "We get support developing this car ... It’s also a big commercial deal."[86] At the time of the 2017 announcement, Uber was defending a lawsuit by Waymo claiming that a former employee, who subsequently worked for an Uber subsidiary, had stolen trade secrets.[87][88]

On March 18, 2018, Elaine Herzberg was walking outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck and killed by an Uber car operating in autonomous mode. In response, Uber pulled its self-driving cars off all public roads in Arizona, San Francisco, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.[89]

Plans for VTOL planes

Uber announced on September 25, 2016, that it was looking into urban transportation with flying vehicles. At Re/code's Nantucket Conference, the head of Uber's products, Jeff Holden stated that the company wanted to "someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around ... doing it in a three-dimensional way is an obvious thing to look at." A statement at the American Helicopter Society International-led joint workshop on Transformative Vertical Flight on September 29, Uber product manager Nikhil Goel stated that "To us, urban air transportation is simply a key initiative or our mission, right? Not only because it can cut congestion – it's got massive potential to do that – but it allows us to move people from Point A to B much, much faster than you would otherwise. If you do it in all-electric vehicles, you can do it with zero emissions." Uber published a 99-page "white paper" exploring the possibility of developing a "fully electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing plane" network (called "Elevate") within ten years, for use in short journeys. Although technically feasible, the development of such a program is expected to encounter safety and regulatory obstacles.[90]

Mapping technology

In November 2015, Uber signed a global partnership deal with Dutch satellite navigation company TomTom to provide maps and traffic data for the Uber driver app across 300 cities.[91] In September 2016, Uber began mapping streets of cities in the United Kingdom to identify the best pick-up and drop-off points.[92]


In August 2014, Uber launched UberEATS, a food delivery service.[93][94]

Other projects

In April 2012, Uber launched the Uber Garage initiative in Chicago, a project to experiment with other ideas for urban transportation services. The first project from Uber Garage was to give Uber users the option to hire a regular taxi driver, or a crowd-sourced Uber driver.[95][96]

In March 2015, Uber and BYD Auto expanded their cooperation to provide leasing of electric cars in Chicago.[97]

In August 2014, Uber launched Uber Essentials or Corner Store service, in Washington, D.C., which allowed online ordering from a list of about 100 items.[98] The service was cancelled in January 2015.[99]

In May 2015, Uber launched its UberMilitary Families Coalition, which partners with existing military family organizations to recruit more military dependents, in addition to veterans, as drivers.[100] In that same month, Uber updated its app to include accommodations for hearing-impaired drivers.[101] On March 10, 2015, Kalanick announced a partnership between Uber and UN Women, hoping to create 1,000,000 jobs for women globally by 2020. However, after pressure from trade unions and women's rights organizations, UN Women declined to participate, citing safety concerns.[102]

In November 2015, in collaboration with GrabOn, Uber offered Hot air balloon rides to customers in Hyderabad, India for INR 1,000.[103] In September 2016, Uber and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics made a partnership for Bobbi Brown x Uber Retouch campaign, to celebrate the launch of the Retouching Wands and Retouching Pencils. Customers got an opportunity to take a ride with a Bobbi Brown Makeup Artist and quick make up course how to retouch make up on-the-go.[104]

On April 11, 2017, Uber announced to launch a new patent purchase program, called UP3, which will seek to expedite the process of purchasing patents with an open application windows.[105]

In October 2017, along with issuing bank Barclays, and payment network Visa Inc., Uber launched a credit card that offers customers a cashback reward program and other incentives.[106]


The founders invested $200,000 in seed money upon conception in 2009.[107] In 2010, Uber raised $1.25 million in additional funding.[107][108] By the end of 2011, Uber had raised $44.5 million in funding.[109][110] In 2013, Google Ventures invested $258 million in the company based on a $3.4 billion pre-money valuation.[111][112] In December 2014, Chinese search engine Baidu made an investment in Uber of an undisclosed amount.[113] The deal also involved connecting Uber with Baidu's mapping apps.[113][114] In January 2015, Uber raised $1.6 billion in convertible debt.[115] In May 2015, Uber revealed plans to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in new funding, raising the value of the company to $50 billion or higher.[116] In September 2015, Uber raised another $1.2 billion, led by another investment by Baidu.[117]

In 2016, Toyota made an undisclosed investment in Uber and looked into leasing options, which could potentially aid Uber drivers financially, a move in response to the other partnerships between Toyota's and Uber's counterparts.[118][119] In June 2016, with plans to expand in the Middle East, Uber received $3.5 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.[120] In July that same year, Uber raised $1.15 billion in debt financing.[121] In August, Uber agreed to sell its subsidiary company, Uber China, to China's leading taxi-hailing app Didi Chuxing. Didi also agreed to invest $1 billion into Uber Global.[122]

In January 2018, the company raised $1.25 billion in cash from an investor group including SoftBank, Dragoneer Investment Group, Sequoia Capital. The financing valued the company at $68 billion.[123]

In February 2018, Uber combined its operations in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan with those of Yandex.Taxi and invested $225 million in the venture.[124]

In total, Uber has raised $22 billion from 18 rounds of venture capital and private equity investors.[125]

Number of users

In 2015, Uber completed its 1 billionth ride, which was still below the 1.4 billion rides completed by Didi Chuxing at that time.[126][127] In October 2016, 40 million riders used the service in a single month and that riders spent an average of approximately $50 per month on the service.[128]

At the beginning of 2017, Uber's share of the United States ride hailing market was 84%. The number dropped to 77% in May, according to Second Measure, possibly due to challenges and controversies faced by the company.[129]


In 2016, Uber did not make a profit, having a reported net loss of $2.8 billion.[130]

Year 2014 2015 1Q'16 2Q'16
Net Revenue $495.3M[131] $1.5B $960M[132] $1.1B[132]
GAAP Loss -$671M[133] TBD -$520M[132] -$750M[132]

Company characteristics and impact

Effect on values of New York City taxi medallions

In New York City, the increased usage of Uber and other transportation network companies has negatively affected the values of taxi medallions, transferable permits or licenses authorizing the holder to pick up passengers for hire. In January 2018, New York City taxi medallions sold at prices below $200,000, one-fifth of what they sold for in 2013. Annual rental rates were $30,000.[134] Many banks that lent money against medallions as collateral faced increasing risks of default.[135]

Gaining local support in dealing with regulators

Uber generally commences operation in a city, then, if its operation is not permitted, Uber mobilizes public support for its service, and, supported by a small army of lobbyists, mounts a political campaign to change regulations.[136][137] In January 2015, Uber announced a program Kalanick called "principled confrontation" that included reaching compromises with local municipalities on new regulations. Since implementing this program, Uber has seen 17 cities pass new favourable ordinances.[138] Uber had worked out an arrangement with the city of Boston to share quarterly data on the duration, locations, and times of day in which riders used the app to travel in or out of the city. This information was first delivered to the city in February 2015, and the report kept all individual user data private.[139] Bradley Tusk, a former campaign manager for Michael Bloomberg, has played a significant role in advising Uber with respect to cities.[140] In 2014–2015, Uber used the services of David Plouffe,[141] in 2016–2017, communications was led by Rachel Whetstone, and Jill Hazelbaker is now the senior vice president of policy and communications.[142]

Classification of drivers as contractors or employees

Uber contracts with their driver partners under legal arrangements as contractors, and not employees. Since taxation, work hours, overtime benefits, and so forth may be treated differently by various political jurisdictions globally, this designation has been controversial.[143] The United States Department of Labor issued guidelines in July 2015 to deal with, what it considers, "misclassification" of workers. It argues that any "worker who is 'economically dependent' on the employer should be treated as an employee. By contrast, a worker must be in business for himself or herself to be an independent contractor."[144] The guideline is non-binding, but is expected to have some influence in various court cases which may establish new common law on the issue.[144][145]

Lawsuits have been filed by Uber drivers complaining that they do not enjoy the rights and remedies of being considered "employees" under employment law.

In a class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on August 16, 2013, Uber drivers plead that they were employees who had been misclassified as independent contractors in violation of the California Labor Code and demanded that they be given any tips Uber had collected on their behalf and payment of business expenses such as gas and maintenance of their vehicles.[146] The District Judge, Edward M. Chen, ruled in the plaintiffs' favor with respect to a motion for summary judgement by defendants on March 11, 2015, holding that whether Uber drivers were employees was a disputed fact to be resolved by the jury.[147] On September 1, 2015, Chen certified the class but generally limited it to drivers in California hired before June 2014 (when an opt-out arbitration clause was included in the contract) who had directly contracted with Uber.[148][149]

In the United Kingdom on October 28, 2016, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are "workers" entitled to the minimum wage, paid holiday and other normal worker entitlements, rather than self-employed. [150] Two Uber drivers had brought the test case to the employment tribunal with the assistance of the GMB Union, on behalf of a group of drivers in London. Uber will appeal against the decision.[44][151] On November 10, the court upheld the ruling against Uber's appeal, although the company announced it would launch a new appeal.[152]

Employee diversity

According to statistics published by the company, men account for 63.9% of overall company employment and 84.6% of technology-related employment. Customer support staff is evenly split between men and women. In the United States, White people make up 50% of the overall employment base. However, for technology-related jobs, White people are 46% of employees, while Asian people account for 47% of employment.[153]

Competitive advantage due to less regulation than taxi companies

Marxian economist Richard D. Wolff stated that Uber and similar services were "nothing new", comparing them to other capitalist industries such as taxi services, which initially originated as a way to competitively undercut prevailing systems by offering cheaper services produced with lower standards, only to eventually come under regulation due to public concerns over safety. Wolff predicted that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft would eventually fall under the same type of regulation, and that terms used to characterize such innovations such as "new technology" or "shared value" or "ridesharing" are merely marketing strategies.[154]

Uber for X

Following Uber's success, there was an influx of new startups describing themselves as "Uber for X". According to Wired, Uber for X "has become a kind of shorthand for convenience—a technological solution for any of life’s frustrating, dull tasks, one that either makes them more convenient or automates them completely."[155]

Legal status by country

Transportation network companies are regulated in most jurisdictions. Regulations can include requirements for driver background checks, fares, the number of drivers, and licensing.[citation needed] In December 2017 the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber was a transport company, subject to local transport regulation in European Union member states, rather than an information society service as Uber had argued.[156]

Uber has been banned from or has voluntary pulled out of, due to legal restrictions, the following jurisdictions: Alaska, Oregon (except Portland) in the United States, Vancouver in Canada, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Germany, London, the Northern Territory in Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.[157]


Requirement of drivers to pay GST

In May 2015, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued a directive stating that drivers that generate income via a TNC need to have an Australian Business Number and be registered to pay GST. Uber filed suit in the Federal Court of Australia, arguing that the public issue by the ATO "unfairly targets Uber's driver-partners".[158][159] In February 2017, a justice found in favor of the ATO, forcing drivers to register and pay GST.[160] This is despite the standard applied to other small Australian businesses, in which only businesses grossing more than $75,000 are required to collect and remit GST.[161]

Legal status by state

Territory/State of Australia Uber or UberX legal[162]
New South Wales and Norfolk Island Yes (Legal since 2015)
Australian Capital Territory Yes (Legal since 2015)[163]
South Australia Yes (Legal since 2016)
Western Australia Yes (Legal since 2016)
Victoria Yes (Legal since 2017)[164][165][166]
Queensland Yes (Legal since 2016)[167]
Tasmania Yes (Legal since 2016)[168][169]
Northern Territory No (Proposed)[170]

New South Wales and Norfolk Island

On April 30, 2014, Transport for New South Wales clarified that "if a NSW driver is taking paying members of the public as passengers, the driver and the vehicle must operate in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act" and "Under the act, such services must be provided in a licensed taxi or hire car, by an appropriately accredited driver, authorised by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)."[171] In December 2014, the New South Wales government confirmed that it had conducted an unannounced search of the company's Sydney offices in April of that year for law enforcement purposes.[172]

The New South Wales government created a taskforce to look into regulating Uber, stating that the existing regulatory framework is "difficult to enforce", and therefore not as effective as it could be. The taskforce also noted that ride sharing services "appear to meet the criteria of a public passenger service" under the 1990 Act and drivers are therefore required to pay local government services tax GST.[173][174] Beginning 17 December 2015, Uber was forced to charge a $1 per trip fee to fund a $250 million compensation fund for taxi operators.[175]

Since July 1, 2016, all NSW laws also apply to the approximately 2,000 residents on Norfolk Island, under both the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015 and the Territories Legislation Amendment Act 2016 because the Norfolk Legislative Assembly was abolished on July 1, 2015.[176][177][178]

Western Australia

On December 18, 2015, Dean Nalder, the Western Australian Transport Minister announced regulatory changes included requiring TNCs to apply for a omnibus licenses, as required by taxi services. Mr. Nalder also insisted on security cameras for all taxis but not "omnibuses", believing these should remain optional. Both Uber and the taxi industry supported the regulations, which provided certainty.[179]


Queensland former premier Campbell Newman said, "We are a deregulation-minded government" at the end of May 2014, in regard to the Queensland government's unwillingness to regulate Uber.[180] Transport Minister Scott Emerson subsequently said that he "welcomed innovation in transport technologies", but Uber "must meet the relevant transport legislation".

In mid-November 2014, the Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) launched an anti-Uber media campaign, in which it warns Uber passengers that they are putting their lives at risk. In regard to the campaign's slogan, "Don't risk your life—Rideshare apps are unlawful, unsafe and uninsured", TCQ chief executive Benjamin Wash said in a public statement: "Queensland taxi drivers undergo daily criminal checks, but rideshare drivers don't. You simply don't know who is behind the wheel." Uber responded with information about its insurance policy, including a $US5 million contingency liability insurance cover and "each partner driver's own full insurance policies". The TCQ also launched an online parliamentary petition to ensure that Uber remains illegal in Queensland, while Emerson said that, since August, the government had issued "more than [A]$170,000 in fines to 62 [Uber] drivers".[181]

In August 2016, the Queensland Government came out in support of legalizing Uber.[182] Since 5 September 2016, Uber has been legal in Queensland.[183]

South Australia

From July 1, 2016, ride-sharing was legalised in South Australia following a review which commenced in January 2015. As part of the reform package, compensation was offered for those in the taxi industry, and a $1 metropolitan ride levy was introduced to fund the compensation. Taxis will continue to have the exclusive right to work at ranks or be hailed.[184]


On May 6, 2014, the Taxi Service Commission in Victoria, Australia, issued several infringement notices to Uber drivers with a fine of A$1,723, after a public warning discouraging people to use TNCs.[185] State officers said that they will review the state's Transport Act, while Uber said it will reimburse drivers.[180]

On 4 December, 2015, an Uber driver was found guilty of driving a hire car without license or registration; this case was the first of 12 brought against Uber drivers by the Victorian Taxi Services Commission.[186] On the 18 May 2016, the judgement was overturned on appeal, effectively legalizing Uber in Victoria.[187][188]

On August 25, 2016, the Andrews Ministry announced plans to fully legalize Uber in Victoria. Taxi licence holders will be compensated via an 8-year A$1 levy on all taxi and ride-booking services in the state.


Uber was launched on November 22, 2016 in Dhaka, but within 36 hours of it's launching, Bangladesh Road & Transport Authority (BRTA) declared it illegal.[189] Uber along with several local Ride-sharing services like Pathao, Amar Ride and Bahon petitioned against the rule and later lobbied the government to formulate draft bill to make Ride-sharing services legal. Though the government ban was still on effect, the services remained open to public and the general public welcomed the initiative as well. On December 03, 2017, the BRTA formulated a guideline for Ride-sharing services and most of the Ride-sharing services including Uber was given Operation License by February, 2018. [190]

The CNG Autorickshaw Drivers of Dhaka and Chittagong went on a strike from December 27 to December 28, 2017 with 8-point demands that included imposition of ban on ride-sharing services. They faced a huge backlash from general public as the CNG Autorickshaw Drivers are notoriously known for taking extra fare than meter, breaking traffic rules and misconduct with passengers. [191] Later, the CNG Autorickshaw Drivers declared that they'll be joining the Ride-sharing services from February, 2018 in Dhaka and Chittagong. Though Uber and Pathao didn't confirm about integration of CNG Autorickshaw in their services, one of the official of Uber said that they've plans to integrate CNG Autorickshaw in future as they've done in India and Pakistan. [192]


In April 2014, Uber was banned in Brussels, and the company was threatened with fines of €10,000 if it offers fares to drivers who are not in possession of a taxi license.[193] Bruxelles-Mobilite, the city's federal region administration responsible for infrastructure and traffic, impounded 13 cars aligned with Uber after March 2014 and a spokesperson for the body described the service as "illegal" in June 2014. The spokesperson also said in a public statement that Bruxelles-Mobilite was generally addressing the issue of illegal taxi drivers in a sector that was difficult to regulate.[194] Although already banned in the Belgian capital of Brussels, the company advertised for a Brussels-based "General Manager" on the LinkedIn website in June 2014. The advertisement stated that the role was "by far the most demanding position Uber has to offer."[194]

In June 2016, the European Commission issued a directive that Uber should be banned only as a last resort, and Uber continues to operate in a grey area in Belgium.[195]


On April 29, 2015, a Brazilian court banned Uber in response to complaints by a taxi drivers' union. The court additionally ordered Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft and Samsung Electronics to prevent further installation and use of the Uber mobile app by Brazilian residents.[196] A few weeks later, the order was revoked, allowing Uber to operate normally and the installation of the app by Brazilian residents, although still on a legal dispute in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

On July 24, 2015, 1,000 taxi drivers in Rio de Janeiro blocked traffic during the morning rush hour protesting Uber's expansion there. Lawmakers have voted to ban Uber in São Paulo and Brasilia.[197]

In October 2015, Fernando Haddad, the mayor of São Paulo, signed a bill to allow for a new category of "black taxis" which would operate in parallel to the city's existing licensed taxis but only be bookable via mobile phone apps. Uber has not participated in this scheme, noting "that it is not a taxi company and therefore does not belong in any category of this type of service" and calling it "notoriously unconstitutional".[198]

On November 26, 2015, an Uber driver was beaten by taxi drivers in Brazil, and similar attacks followed.[199]


Uber began operations in Sofia in December 2014. In September 2015, a court upheld fines imposed on Uber for unfair trade practices and Uber subsequently stopped service in Bulgaria.[200]


Uber drivers in Canada are required "to register, collect and remit HST/GST from their fares to the government", regardless of their income.[201]

A September 2012 article in Business in Vancouver reported a dispute with local regulators.[202] On November 22, 2012, Uber announced it was exiting the "Secret Uber" stage in Vancouver and raising its minimum charge per ride to C$75 per hour to comply with provincial regulations.[203]

On December 5, 2012, Toronto officials charged Uber with 25 municipal licensing infractions, including operation of an unlicensed taxi brokerage and unlicensed limousine service.[204] Municipal officials said they had advised the company to comply with local regulations and that rival taxi dispatch apps had obtained licenses.[205] Despite support from some quarters including mayor John Tory Toronto Police Service launched a crackdown on Uber drivers, and a court hearing is deciding if an injunction to prohibit the service is warranted.[206][207] In July 2015, a $400M class-action lawsuit was filed against UberX and UberXL in Toronto on behalf of Ontario taxi and limo drivers, brokers, and owners. The statement of claim alleged that UberX and UberXL violated section 39.1 of the province's Highway Traffic Act by having unlicensed drivers picking up passengers and transporting them for compensation.[208] In March 2016, Sukhvir Tehethi, a local taxi driver, filed an injunction against Uber. Toronto's city council amended a bylaw in October 2015 and, according to Tehethi's lawyer, Uber drivers are in violation of it. Tehethi decided to take action saying that it could be months, or even years, if he waits for City Hall to act.[209] A Toronto city councillor warned that passengers using UberX may be fined up to $20,000.[210] On March 3, 2016, after hours of heated debate, the City Council of Toronto passed a bylaw allowing UberX to operate legally in the city with conditions, while also cutting regulations for taxis.[211]

In 2015, Uber operated illegally in Edmonton, Alberta[212] and Calgary, Alberta.[213] City of Edmonton officials unveiled a proposed ride-sharing bylaw on September 9, 2015, which would permit Uber to operate legally in Edmonton. Uber opposed the bylaw change and stated the timeline for implementing the bylaw change is too hasty.[214][215] Uber was legalized in Edmonton on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 effective as of March 1, 2016.[216] Uber ceased operations in Edmonton on March 1, 2016, citing inability to obtain the necessary insurance.[217] Uber continued to operate outside of Edmonton despite lack of insurance or proper licensing of their drivers.[218]

The City of Calgary, Alberta has charged at least 17 drivers illegally driving for Uber. These drivers are operating without legally mandated insurance, which does not exist in Alberta.[219] Uber was give clearance to operate in Calgary in December 2016.[220][221]

In the province of Quebec, the government proposed Bill 100 which will regulate Uber drivers. Uber drivers will have to undergo background checks, have their vehicle inspected, drive for limited hours, and acquire a special class of driver's license reserved for taxi drivers. Despite these restrictions, the Quebec taxi industry has protested the presence of Uber in the province.[222]

Costa Rica

On August 21, 2015, Uber started operations in Costa Rica and multiple Uber drivers were immediately attacked by taxi drivers.[223]


In December 2014, in Chongqing, a city in west China, police raided a training session organised by Uber which was attended by more than 20 drivers. In April 2015, Chinese authorities raided the offices of Uber in Guangzhou, Guangdong.[224]

On May 6, 2015, local police raided the offices of Uber in Chengdu, in Sichuan province.[225]


Before Uber began operations in Croatia, the Sustainable Development of Croatia party and major taxi service companies were against it, stating that the price of Uber service doesn't compensate the drivers enough for gas, car maintenance, passenger insurance, nor health and retirement insurance for the driver, and Uber prices also don't include VAT nor surtax. Ekotaksi taxi company stated how Uber would be breaking state laws about offering passenger transport service, saying how Uber drivers have no obligation to maintain passenger safety and service quality. Cammeo taxi service stated how if they themselves invest in their drivers, issue fiscalized receipts, pay VAT, that in that case they consider Uber to be unfair competition that is breaking many laws. Večernji list reported ORaH and the taxi services were planning an open letter to the Zagreb city council to prevent Uber from coming to the Croatian capital. In October 2015, Uber initiated service in Zagreb.[226] In June 2016, the service also started operating in the coastal cities of Split and Dubrovnik, two important tourist locations.[227][228] In September 2016, a group of taxi drivers attacked a Uber driver who was waiting for a passenger at Zagreb Airport. The Uber driver canceled the drive before the passenger arrived and drove away, with the attackers following him. The attack was filmed by the victim and reported to the Law enforcement in Croatia.[229]


After Uber Black and UberPop was launched in Copenhagen in November 2014, the national transport authority filed a police complaint, as it suspected Uber of operating illegally in Denmark. A spokesperson for the authorities told reporters that Uber had not made contact prior to the launch, and "we don't think their [Uber] services are in line with the law."[230] Denmark's transport minister then spoke in January 2015, stating that, although he was not opposed to Uber, the app was "contrary" to Danish law—consumer safety and employee training were identified as the key concerns. However, a final decision was subject to the outcome of the police investigation that was initiated in November 2014.[231]

In July 2016, 6 Uber drivers were convicted for offering taxi services without license. Police also charged more than 48 Uber drivers for unlicensed taxi driving.[232]

On 18 November 2016, the eastern high court of Denmark ruled that Uber is an illegal.[233]


Uber and Careem faced heavy criticism in Egypt at the beginning of 2016 by local taxi drivers for operating without official taxi licenses. Taxi drivers organized several protests and sit-ins demanding that the Egyptian government intervene to halt the activities of the TNCs. A committee was organized by the Egyptian government to assess the complaints of the protesting taxi drivers and standardize taxi services in Egypt. They ruled in favor of the TNCs, ensuring that they can operate legally and provided legal protection for the TNC drivers who had been facing attacks by both state police and angry taxi drivers.[234][235][236][237]

European Union

In December 2017 the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber was a transport company, subject to local transport regulation in European Union member states, rather than a information society service as Uber had argued.[238]


Driving for Uber faces criminal prosecution in Finland.[239]


After Uber launched its UberPop version of the app in Paris in early 2014, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Product Quality/Safety (DGCCRF), France’s consumer-protection agency, began to consider banning UberPop. The DGCCRF was concerned about unfair competition because UberPop sells itself as a ride-sharing service when it is actually a taxi service (in France, for-profit ride sharing requires licensing and insurance); and that Uber was not paying taxes that it should be.[240][241]

On January 13, 2014, cab drivers in Paris attacked an Uber driver's car near Charles de Gaulle Airport, protesting competition from the transportation startup.[242] On June 11, 2014, in a concerted action, taxis blocked roads in major European cities in protest against what they perceive as a threat to their livelihoods from companies such as Uber. The cabbies contended that Uber and similar smartphone app-based services have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to the same kinds of fees and regulations placed on taxis.[243][244] On June 25, 2015, cab drivers in Paris "locked down" Paris in an anti-Uber protest.[245] Musician Courtney Love got caught in the protest and live tweeted as her Uber cab was violently attacked and she and her driver were held hostage.[246]

In addition to the consumer agency's action, taxi drivers staged a series of strikes, while authorities passed new legislation in September requiring all car services that are not traditional taxis to return to a garage between fares, and prohibited Uber from displaying the location of nearby cars on its app. A court decision deeming the service illegal was handed down on October 17, 2014. The court stated that UberPop violated a pre-existent regulation that bans carpooling for profit and fined Uber €100,000 (US$128,000) for "deceptive practices."[240]

After the UberPool service, described by Uber as the next iteration of the UberPop model, was introduced to Paris in mid-November 2014, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber's Western Europe chief, told the media that "We [Uber] will never make any changes until we are forced to." Gore-Coty said that Uber was "very confident" about overturning the decision and that Uber had no intention of changing its app in accordance with French legal demands.[247] UberPool remained operational in Paris[248] and continued to aggressively recruit French drivers and passengers.[249]

On December 12, 2014, a French court ruled that Uber could not advertise some of its services to the general public in France; if it did so, it would face a $25,000 daily fine.[250][not in citation given] The company's UberPop service was banned on January 1, 2015, under the provisions of the Thévenoud Law, which requires anyone carrying passengers for hire to be licensed and have insurance.[251] As of February 23, 2015 about 100 drivers, mostly first-time offenders, had been ticketed.[252]

In June 2015, French authorities arrested Uber managers Thibault Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty on six charges, including "deceptive commercial practices", complicity in instigating an illegal taxi-driving activity, and the illegal stocking of personal information.[249] Meanwhile, anti-Uber protests by taxi drivers became increasingly violent.[253][254]

On July 5, 2015, Uber suspended UberPop in the face of pressure by the French government while awaiting a constitutional court decision on the legality of Uber's service.[255] On September 22, 2015, France's highest constitutional authority rejected the challenge to a law that bans Uber's low-cost offering UberPop, keeping the legal pressure on the company.[256] Uber stated that the decision was disappointing but that the company will continue to work with the French government, trying to find a solution.[257]

In June 2016, Paris court fined Uber €800,000, half suspended, for illegally running its UberPop service in 2015.[258]


In early 2014, Berlin authorities ruled against Uber—which operates in the German cities of Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf—on two occasions following a case filed by the Berlin Taxi Association. The first ruling, delivered by a court of law in April 2014, deemed Uber's limousine service to be in breach of local legislation, while an August 13, 2014 decision banned the service from operating in Berlin due to safety concerns—the latter decision, which includes a €25,000 fine for non-compliance, cited issues pertaining to unregulated vehicles and unqualified drivers who are not properly insured. A Berlin Taxi Association representative said on August 14 that the legal proceedings were ongoing, and that Uber could lodge an appeal against the second decision.[259]

On August 28, 2014, a court in Frankfurt issued an immediate cease and desist order against Uber, following an appeal from the cooperative Taxi Deutschland.[260] The preliminary injunction applied to all of Germany[261] and included a fine of €250,000 per ride for non-compliance.[262][263] If the injunction was breached, Uber's German-based employees could be jailed for up to six months, in addition to an imposition of fines upon the company. Uber's premium Uber Black service was not affected by the ruling.[264]

On September 16, 2014, the district court of Frankfurt revoked the preliminary injunction, thereby re-allowing Uber to operate in Germany.[260] The presiding judge wrote that the Taxi Deutschland case "would have had prospects for success", but the case was merely lodged too late, as any case needs to be filed within two months of a service's launch—Uber started in Germany in April 2014, but the case was filed in August 2014.[264] According to Taxi Deutschland's legal representative after the announcement of the decision, the body had "already decided to appeal the decision, and we [Taxi Deutschland] will also seek that the temporary injunction be reinstated", meaning that the matter must be heard in a higher court.[265]

On March 18, 2015, the Frankfurt district court imposed a nationwide ban on local transport services using Uber and UberPop smartphone apps. Each violation of this Uber order would be subject to a 250,000 euro fine. According to the presiding judge, there is a violation of the passenger transport law because drivers operate without authorisation and don't have the right kinds of licenses. He also said that the company did not carry sufficient insurance to cover Uber’s services.[266][267][268][263][269]

Uber then limited itself to its UberX and UberBLACK services, which requires drivers that hold a passenger transport license.[270]

Hong Kong

On August 11, 2015, Hong Kong Police raided Uber's office after arresting five drivers in a sting operation aimed at combating illegal taxis.[271][272] 2 more drivers were arrested on the next day. However, the Hong Kong government investment agency, InvestHK, had been endorsing Uber as one of its “success stories” on its website, although the endorsement was later removed.[273]

On March 15, 2018, a group of local taxi drivers protested outside the Hong Kong Police Headquarters, requesting for actions to be taken on those "unlicensed taxis". They accused Uber from using false and misleading documents to lie to the public.[274] On the same day, another group of taxi drivers protested by honking their horns for 30 seconds in Admiralty at noon. They also threatened to flood the area with their vehicles if no actions are taken by the government.[275]


Uber is an illegal taxi service in Hungary and has suspended operations there. The Tax Authority received the right to block the illegal services of Uber from the internet.[276]

Uber drivers can get fined up to 800,000 HUF, authorities can remove the licence plates of driver. All controlled drivers were illegal.[277]



The Hyderabad road transport authority banned Uber cabs a day after the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs advised all states to stop the operation of web-based taxi services. A spokesman for the authority said that Uber did not hold a license to operate in the city, and asked the public to cease using Uber cab services.[278]


After Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced in Parliament on December 9, 2014, that he had advised all states and Union territories to ban unregistered and unlicensed cab services, the state government of Karnataka banned Uber on December 11, 2014.[279][280]

New Delhi

In December 2014, following allegations of rape against an Uber driver in New Delhi, India, Uber was banned from New Delhi for not following the city's compulsory police verification procedure.[281][282] The driver had been charged, then acquitted, of a prior sexual assault in 2011.[281] Within two days of the rape incident, almost 7,000 people signed a petition calling on Uber to conduct mandatory seven-year background checks on drivers, in line with its U.S. operations.[283] Delhi's transport department banned Uber from all activities related to the provision of any type of transport service in the city.[284] Uber issued a statement stating that it would work with the Indian government "to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs."[285]

In banning Uber, Delhi's transport department cited several rules that Uber had broken. According to New Delhi's Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006, all taxi licensees must be either a company under the Companies Act, 2013 (or the 1956 Act), or a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Furthermore, taxi services must provide adequate parking space for all taxis, as well as sufficiently sized office space to accommodate the control room, the maintenance of a minimum fleet size per license (500 vehicles), and all vehicles must be fitted with GPS/GPRS tracking systems (to be in constant communication with the control room while on duty). The rules also stipulate that the taxi licensee is responsible for ensuring the quality of drivers, including police verifications, supervision, and employee behaviour.[285]

Uber is faced with limits to the number of drivers that are allowed to operate.[286]


On March 22, 2016, thousands of taxi drivers in Jakarta demonstrated against Uber and a similar service, Grab. Several places were targeted during the protests, including the Istana Merdeka, the DPR/MPR Building, and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics central office.[287] Taxi drivers accused that Grab and Uber were causing them to receive smaller daily incomes due to the rising number of app users. The demonstrators also demanded that the government ban the apps and issue a governmental decree concerning this problem.[288]


In May 2015, the Milan Court banned Uberpop alleging "unfair competition" and violation of the local jurisdiction regulating taxi services. The lawsuit was originally initiated by the Italian taxi drivers union.[289]

On May 25, 2015, Italian judge dott. Claudio Marangoni banned the UberPop app for unfair competition practices.[290]

On April 6, 2017, Italian judge dott. Alfredo Landi banned the UberBlack, Uber-Lux, Uber-SUV, Uber-X, Uber-XL, UberSelect and Uber-Van app throughout Italy for unfair competition practices.[291]


On December 8, 2014, Dutch judges banned the UberPop ridesharing service that was launched as a pilot project in Amsterdam between July and September 2014, followed by an expansion into The Hague and Rotterdam. The Hague-based Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal ruled: "Drivers who transport people for payment without a licence are breaking the law". Uber's official response indicated that the company would continue to offer the service, despite the €100,000 fine and the €40,000 fine for drivers who are apprehended.[292]


On October 15, 2014, five Uber drivers have been involved in a crackdown by the Road Transport Department (JPJ), under the Ops Teksi Uber 2014 operation – which began on October 1. The four other vehicles were returned to their respective owners – with their documents confiscated pending further investigation by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). Due to a wide range of circumstances, the four vehicles could be returned to owners should proper documents and other factors correlate.[293] On October 17, 2014, JPJ will continue its crackdown on drivers and cars affiliated to the personal driver app, which has been growing in popularity with urbanites. Despite the hiccup, the department suspects that Uber services are still available for loyal customers.[294] Since October 2014, the Land Public Transport Commission has impounded 44 Uber vehicles, using many methods such as tracking the vehicles using Uber's app.[295] It was also reported that some taxi drivers have taken it upon themselves to nab Uber drivers and turn them over to the police.[296][297]

Legislation to legalize Uber was finally implemented in 2016.[298]

New Zealand

In January 2015, a number of Uber vehicles were stopped by New Zealand Police. The police's position is that Uber is in violation of the Land Transport Act because the fares are not agreed upon ahead of time; hence, Uber hires do not fit the legal definition of a "private hire service", in accordance with its registration in New Zealand. Two Uber drivers were charged with violating the Land Transport Act and face fines of up to NZ$10,000.[299]

On January 20, 2015, the Associate Transport Minister, Craig Foss, said that the rules covering taxis and private hire services, including Uber, will be reviewed by New Zealand officials by mid-2015.[300]

In April and May 2016 the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) sent warnings to seventeen Uber drivers who did not comply with current regulations.[301]


Uber made its mobile app available for Norwegian cities in 2014.[302]

According to the Norwegian Professional Transport Act a taxi license is required to charge for passenger transport "addressed to general public on public space"[303] More drivers have been fined for pirate taxi business for violation of the law. In 2015 tried Uber-driver for this court and this acceptance was acquitted because the court found that communication through a mobile app was not to be regarded as "public space."[304]

Using Uber offered passengers the compensation to any customers via a mobile application. Logged Uber drivers make themselves available for customers who want transport. The provision of passenger transport in return for remuneration is thus not aimed at the audience in a public place. Relationship affected accordingly excluded from the law as it naturally must be understood.

Taxi owners' organizations have argued that Uber is considered to be an organized pirate taxi operations, while supporters of liberalization mean business model Uber is more forward-looking and making it easier to "run white" and can facilitate greater safety for passengers.[305][306]


On October 23, 2014, despite the recommendation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority,[307] the Philippine Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) imposed a ₱120,000 (US$2,676) to ₱200,000 (US$4,460) fine for the use of the Uber app on public utility vehicles and sedans, respectively.[308] A spokesperson for the board said that the fines were issued because Uber did not have an approved franchise to operate in the country—they were not directed at the service itself.[308] The LTFRB also remarked that Uber can still operate in Metro Manila if the Philippine House of Representatives grants the company a proper legislative franchise, saying "We want this scheme work in the Philippines because the application is good, but it has to work inside the context of Philippine laws."[309]

On October 30, 2014, after an intervention from the Department of Transportation and Communications, the LTFRB temporarily suspended its campaign of apprehending Uber vehicles and will review its operations.[310]

Amid opposition from taxi companies, On May 10, 2015, Uber and similar services finally gained legal ground to operate, with the country's Department of Transportation and Communications giving them a new classification as The Transportation Network Vehicle Service. The country requires a GPS system installed, a young fleet of vehicles, and the appropriate permits. Taxis were also given a chance to compete by also giving them a sub-classification that matches features found in Uber and other similar services. But the LTFRB mentions that if Uber does not secure registration to have a legal franchise by August 21, 2015, their services will be permanently halted.[311] Uber then complied and secured government registration to become the country's second "transportation network company" or "TNC" after GrabCar on August 19, 2015.[312] Individual vehicle operators however still need to undergo separate registrations with the LTFRB.[312]

The service was suspended for a month on August 14, 2017, due to the defiance of LTFRB's order on not to accredit drivers in their systems starting July 26, 2017.[313] The suspension was not without criticism as netizens expressed their outrage in the issue.


Although Uber itself, as the provider, is fully legal in Poland, drivers work illegally. Providing transport services in Poland, according to Road Transport Act (Ustawa o Transporcie Drogowym) requires a permit. The service provided by Uber drivers specifically requires a permit for providing transport services with a taxicab. To get a permit a driver must take both medical and psychomotoric tests, must lead a company or be employed by one, and a car must be equipped with a taximeter, a cash register and a taxi sign. Unless drivers do have the permit, they commit an offence against the Road Transport Act and unless they have a cash register they commit an offence against Value Added Tax Act, both punishable by a fine of up to 5000 PLN each. Several judicial proceedings against Uber drivers have been taking place.,[314][315]

Following the commencement of Uber services in Warsaw, Jaroslaw Iglikowski, chief of the Union of Warsaw Taxi Drivers, said: "We will put pressure on politicians, and demand that they change the regulations [for firms offering taxi services]."[316]

Following protests by taxi drivers, laws were modified so that Uber drivers do not enjoy a regulatory advantage over taxi drivers.[317]


On April 29, 2016, a massive protest organized by taxi drivers and associations took place in major cities. During the protest at least one taxi company of Porto refused calls due to having no available taxis, causing the Uber app to move to the top of the app stores' downloads.[318] The Government hasn't yet come to a decision on Uber, although a minister was quoted as saying it is illegal.[319] A rule by a Lisbon court had already caused ISPs to block Uber sites in 2015.[320]


In May 2015, the Romanian Parliament adopted a law which banned transport services by unauthorized drivers, effectively making Uber illegal; however, Uber continues to operate in Romania as it battles in the courts.[321]

Saudi Arabia

In March 2017, Saudi Arabia banned Uber and Careem from picking up at airport, citing license requirements. Saudi Arabia had earlier banned the TNCs from allowing non-Saudis to register as drivers.[322]


In February 2017, Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore ruled that private hire cars who used Uber or Grab service are not exempted from child seat requirement. For safety reasons, all vehicles in Singapore must have booster seats or child restraints for passengers under 1.35m in height. [323]

In March 2017, LTA introduced a new regulation for private hire cars called Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) which took effect in July 2017.[324] This is to ensure that commuter's interest is better protected.[325]

South Africa

Over 30 vehicles operating for the Uber service in Cape Town were impounded at the beginning of January 2015. Local transport officials claimed that the service was operating without suitable permits.[326]

In Cape Town, on June 3, 2016, metered taxi drivers blockaded the road to the city's airport and forced passengers out of vehicles whilst attacking Uber drivers.[327]

South Korea

The Seoul city government released an official statement in July 2014 expressing its intention to seek a ban on Uber's smartphone app. The government stated that South Korean law prohibits fee-paying transport services that use unregistered private or rented vehicles, and a Seoul driver received a one-million won (US$974) fine in April 2014 after using Uber to solicit customers in a rented car. The city government also initiated a police investigation of Uber in June 2014, but the request was suspended due to a lack of evidence; however, the July statement indicated that the investigation would be recommenced. A response from Uber warned the government that it risked being "trapped in the past."[328]

In December 2014, the company's Korean office announced that the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office had issued an indictment against both them and Kalanick. The indictment is in regard to the violation of a Korean law prohibiting individuals or firms without appropriate licences from providing or facilitating transportation services.[329]


Since it began operations in Spain, the company had been the target of a series of protests by the Madrid Taxi Association, which considers the app to be unfair competition. On December 9, 2014, a judge ordered Uber to cease all activities in Spain. In a statement after the ruling, the Spanish court stated that drivers "lack the administrative authorisation to carry out the job, and the activity they carry out constitutes unfair competition."[330] The company suspended its operations in Spain on December 30, 2014.[331]

Uber restarted operations in Spain in March 2016, this time using only licensed drivers.[332][333]


As of December 6, 2014, Uber Taiwan had received over NT$1,000,000 in fines for operating illegally, including a cease and desist of the app, on December 5, 2014. Issues included failure to insure vehicles, operating like a business without a business license, metered fares unknown to passengers, metered fares not inspected by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, and failure to report income and pay taxes. Many drivers had their licenses suspended for violations.[334] In December 2014, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced that the company was operating unlicensed taxis in violation of national law, and that the government was considering blocking the service.[335]

In 2016, it is reported that the Transportation Ministry will seek to amend the laws to allow Uber to remain in Taiwan and operate legally.[336]

Uber received heavy penalties racked up fines worth 231 million Taiwan dollars ($7.4 million) in just two weeks after new rules introduced on Jan 6th, 2017. On February 2, 2017, Uber announced it is suspending its service in Taiwan after being hit with millions of dollars in fines by the government.[337]


Following concerns raised by taxi drivers in Thailand over the lower rates charged by Uber drivers, the head of the country's Department of Land Transport, Teerapong Rodpraser, declared Uber illegal on November 28, 2014, alleging that Uber vehicles are not properly registered in Thailand, the charging methods of Uber drivers are not valid, Thai Uber drivers are not properly licensed, and the service discriminates against people who do not possess credit cards.[338]

The Department also raised security concerns over Uber's credit card-only policy in Thailand, and Teerapong said that Uber was also illegal under Thailand's Motor Vehicle Act B.E. 2522. As of the November 2014 announcement, the Uber Black and UberX services are available in the Thai cities of Bangkok and Phuket.[338]

Following the announcement, Uber drivers faced a maximum 4,000-baht fine if caught by police. Meanwhile, a meeting of different government agencies was held to decide how Uber services would be managed in the future—the outcome was not publicized in the media at the time of the announcement.[338]

United Arab Emirates


In January 2017, after a long spat with regulators, Uber signed an agreement with the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai. Under this deal, Uber will be entitled to deploy about 14,000 vehicles around the city.[339]

United Kingdom

On June 11, 2014, London-based Hackney carriage (black cab) drivers, members of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, disrupted traffic as a protest against Transport for London's refusal to stop Uber's calculation of fares based on distance and time taken, as they claimed it infringes upon their right to be the sole users of taximeters in London.[340] The following week, London mayor Boris Johnson stated it would be "difficult" for him to ban Uber "without the risk of a judicial review"; however, he expressed sympathy for the view of the black-cab drivers:

I think it's a very difficult [question] ... We've gone to the high court to get a ruling on this, and the issue is basically: is the driver's mobile in the cab equivalent to a taxi meter? I can see why m'learned friends might think that it is, because it's receiving data about, or it's calculating, the distance and time and the fare. And there are other lawyers who say that it isn't, and that was the advice of the counsel to TfL. And so we've got a legal problem.[341]

In a blog post black-cab driver Rooney Johan wrote: "if they (had) included us and the limousine companies instead of the private cars we would have acted differently", which was followed by another black-cab owner George Ryan saying: "if Uber want to operate outside US they have to modify their business model". Following the black-cab protest, driver Richard Cudlip wrote in his blog, "as a trade we failed to get our message across". Cudlip also said he was concerned about safety in minicabs, slow issuing (and reissuing) of black-cab licences, a failure to prevent minicabs from illegally touting for business, and a lack of space outside key London tourist destinations.[341]

On 16 October 2015, after Transport for London brought a case to the High Court of Justice to determine whether the way Uber's app calculates a fare falls under the definition of a taximeter, it was ruled that the app is legal in London.[342]

On 28 October 2016, in the case of Aslam v Uber BV[343], the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are "workers" entitled to the minimum wage, paid holiday, sick leave and other normal worker entitlements, rather than self-employed. Two Uber drivers had brought the case to the employment tribunal with the assistance of the GMB Union on 20 July 2016.[344][345][346][347] On 10 November 2016, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the first tribunal's ruling. Uber indicated that it would appeal further.[348]

On 22 September 2017 Transport for London announced that it would not be renewing the licence of Uber's local service provider, which was due to expire at the end of that month. TfL declared that Uber London Limited was not "fit and proper" to hold a private hire operator licence, citing concerns over the company's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and Disclosure and Barring Service checks, and the use of Greyball. Uber indicated that it would appeal against the decision.[349][350][351]

United States


In January 2017, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to the US government to resolve accusations by the Federal Trade Commission of having misled drivers about potential earnings.[352][353][354]

According to a February 2017 lawsuit filed by Waymo, owned by an affiliate of Google, ex-Google employee Anthony Levandowski allegedly "downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation" before resigning to found Otto, which was purchased by Uber.[355][356] A ruling in May 2017 required Uber to return documents to Waymo.[357] The trial began February 5, 2018.[358] A settled was announced February 8, 2018 with Uber giving Waymo $244 million in Uber equity and an agreement to ensure Uber does not infringe Waymo's intellectual property.[359]

In 2017 a lawsuit was filed alleging that Uber uses "sophisticated software" to defraud both drivers and passengers. According to the suit, under the upfront pricing model, when a passenger is quoted a price the app shows a longer more expensive route, meanwhile would-be drivers are shown a shorter cheaper route. The passenger is charged for the more expensive route, while the driver is paid the cheaper, with Uber pocketing the difference.[360]


In September 2015, Uber paid the State of Alaska $77,925 and paused operations in Anchorage. The state argued that Uber was misclassifying drivers as contractors instead of employees, which was illegal.[361]


In May 2011, Uber received a cease-and-desist letter from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, claiming it was operating an unlicensed taxi service, and another legal demand from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that it was operating an unlicensed limousine dispatch. Both claimed criminal violations and demanded that the company cease operations. In response, the company, among other things, changed its name from UberCab to Uber.[362] In the fall of 2012, the CPUC issued a cease-and-desist letter to Uber, Lyft, and SideCar) and fined each $20,000.[363] However, an interim agreement was reached in 2013 reversing those actions.[364]

In June 2013, Lyft, Uber and Sidecar were served with cease and desist letters by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.[365]

In September 2013, the CPUC unanimously voted to make the agreement permanent, creating a new category of service called transportation network company to cover Lyft, UberX, SideCar, and Summon, thereby making California the first jurisdiction to recognize such services.[366][367]

On September 17, 2014, California's Governor approved the "Assembly Bill No. 2293" bill that became effective on July 1, 2015. The bill amended "the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act to enact specified requirements for liability insurance coverage for transportation network companies, as defined, and their participating drivers." The driver under the law is defined as "any person who uses a vehicle in connection with a transportation network company’s online-enabled application or platform to connect with passengers." The stated minimum insurance requirement ranges from US$50,000 to $100,000 for death and injuries per individual or incident, and stipulates US$30,000 for property damage. As a breach of the bill is classified as a criminal act, a corresponding "state-mandated local program" will be implemented.[368]

In April 2016, a case that was originally filed on December 9, 2014, by the district attorneys of both Los Angeles, California, and San Francisco was resolved. Prosecutors claimed that Uber made misleading statements about the background checks it performs on drivers and falsely charged a "safe ride fee." The case was resolved when Uber agreed to no longer claim to be the "safest ride on the road", change the name of the "safe ride fee" to "booking fee", and pay $10 million.[369] San Francisco's city attorneys had previously settled out of court with Lyft over similar allegations.[370]

On December 14, 2016, the California Department of Motor Vehicles demanded that Uber cease its autonomous car program in San Francisco or obtain a licence, threatening legal action.[371][372] Following the invitation of tech enthusiast and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Uber decided to move its fleet to Phoenix, Arizona.[373]


In June 2014, Colorado became the first state to pass rules for TNCs through the legislative process, when S 125 was signed into law.[374]


In September 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filed by taxicab drivers and holders of a vehicle for hire Certificate of public convenience and necessity in Atlanta against Uber as well as its drivers for restitution of all metered fares collected via the Uber and UberX apps for trips originating within the Atlanta city limits.[375] The lawsuit claimed that Uber drivers were not properly licensed.[375]


On October 5, 2012, Uber was sued by the taxi and livery companies in Chicago. Uber was accused of violating Chicago city laws and Illinois state laws designed to protect public safety, consumer protection, and fair practices.[376] Regulations affecting TNCs were approved in December 2014.[377]


On August 1, 2012, the Massachusetts Division of Standards issued a cease-and-desist letter to Uber on the grounds that the GPS-based smartphone app was not a certified measurement device, but on August 15, the agency reversed its ruling after prodding by Governor Deval Patrick, saying that technique was satisfactory because it was under study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.[378]

The legislature passed a law formally legalizing and regulating transportation network companies in July 2016.[379] The law requires background checks, vehicle decals and inspections, insurance, state certification of drivers; prohibits increased fares during a declared emergency or for passengers with disabilities; requires drivers to be 21 or older; and sets up a complaint process and commission to review the economics of the whole ride-for-hire industry. Unlike taxis, TNC vehicles are prohibited from "cruising" for passengers on streets. The law also establishes a $0.20 per-ride charge, which is distributed to cities and towns for transportation and ride-for-hire economic development purposes.


In December 2016, Michigan instituted regulations on TNCs.[380]


In July 2014, the Minneapolis City Council voted almost unanimously to legalize TNCs.[381]


On November 25, 2014, Washoe County, Nevada District Court Judge Scott Freeman, issued a preliminary injunction preventing Uber from operating statewide. The temporary injunction was based on the company's failure to file a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which is required for every transportation service in Nevada to conform with state regulations. The Government of Nevada also claimed that Uber's screening process was not rigorous enough to protect consumers, and failed to conform with the aforementioned regulations. Uber contested the ruling, arguing that it is an app-based technology company rather than a transportation company, but the company's management made the decision to temporarily shut down its Nevada operations.[382] Nevada legalized TNCs in May 2015.[383]

New Hampshire

Legislation passed in 2016 in New Hampshire requires each TNC (not each driver) to pay an annual fee of $500. It also includes requirements that each TNC get a permit from the state, obtain a driver history report on each driver that meets the provisions of the law, and require their drivers to have liability insurance.[384]

New York

UberX was suspended in New York City in October 2012 after pressure from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Uber's premium sedan service was not affected.[385] TNCs were legalized statewide in June 2016.[386]

In May 2017, after a class action lawsuit was filed by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) in federal court in New York, Uber admitted to underpaying New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars over 2.5 years by calculating driver commissions on a net amount. Uber agreed to pay the amounts owed plus interest.[387]

In February 2017, the New York State Senate approved legislation allowing TNCs to expand operations to Upstate New York. The bill sponsored by state Senator Jim Seward, who chairs the Senate Insurance Committee, passed by a 53–5 vote. In June 2017, TNCs became available in Upstate New York.[388][389]

North Carolina

In September 2015, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Senate Bill 541 [NC Session Law 2015-237], "AN ACT TO REGULATE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES", which amends Chapter 20 of the North Carolina General Statutes to establish statewide regulation of TNCs operating within North Carolina. It also forbids the establishment by county and municipal governments of additional regulations [e.g. fees, licenses, etc.] upon TNCs and their associated drivers operating within North Carolina.[390]


On December 8, 2014, Portland, Oregon sued Uber, claiming that Uber violates the city's Private for Hire Transportation Regulations and Administrative Rules. The court was asked to stop Uber from operating in Portland.[391] Uber suspended its operations in the city for three months, pending planned changes to local regulations.[392]


In January 2015, the enforcement bureau of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced that it would subpoena Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to appear at a February meeting of the PUC, to provide information asked of Kalanick for some months before regarding trips that Uber soperated while under a cease-and-desist order issued by an administrative law judge panel over the previous summer. In past actions, the PUC had cited TNC drivers for providing service illegally in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. They also said that they would be raising the proposed penalties from $95,000 and $1,000 per day of operation without authority, to $19 million and $1,000 per day from October 3, 2014, until Uber provides the data the PUC requested.[393]

Pittsburgh has fully embraced TNCs to the point that Uber uses Pittsburgh as a testing ground for autonomous cars in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University and later reached an agreement to allow drivers to pick up riders at Pittsburgh International Airport.[394][395]

In December 2014, Checker Cab Philadelphia and 44 other taxi companies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit alleging that Uber was operating illegally in the city.[396][397] On March 3, 2015, U.S. District Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against Uber.[398]

In January 2016, a $1.5M lawsuit was filed against Uber in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Sergei Lemberg on behalf of a Philadelphia taxicab medallion owners. The suit claimed that Uber engaged in tortious interference with a prospective business advantage and engaged in false advertising under the Lanham Act.[399] The case was dismissed in August 2016.[399]

Philadelphia finally legalized TNCs in November 2016.[400]


In March 2015, UberPOOL was offered in Austin, Texas in advance of the annual South by Southwest festival.[401]

On May 7, 2016, Uber and Lyft announced they would no longer provide service in the city of Austin, Texas after city voters rejected a referendum backed by the two companies that would have repealed a city ordinance requiring their drivers to submit to fingerprint-based background checks.[402]

In late 2016, Uber threatened to leave Houston ahead of the Super Bowl LI festivities, insisting various city regulations, including fingerprint background checks of drivers, were too burdensome and prevented drivers from working. Houston officials and Uber reached a compromise in December 2016, whereby Houston would continue to require a fingerprint check for drivers but eliminate requirements for driver drug testing and physicals through at least February 5, 2017.[403][404]


Regulations affecting TNCs were implemented in December 2014.[405]


On June 5, 2014, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles issued a cease-and-desist letter to both Uber and Lyft, demanding they halt operations within Virginia.[406] Since mid-2015, regulations have been implemented governing transportation network companies and associated partner drivers within the Commonwealth of Virginia.[407][408]


To appease taxi drivers, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance in March 2014 that capped the number of drivers from any TNC on the road at any given time to 150.[409] However, on April 17, 2014, after a coalition obtained 36,000 signatures to put the question to voters in a referendum, Mayor Ed Murray announced a 45-day negotiation process to find an alternative approach.[410] Uber donated over $613,000 to "Seattle Citizens to Repeal Ordinance 124441", a political group seeking to overturn the ordinance limiting the number of TNC vehicles in Seattle.[411] In June 2014, the mayor reached a deal to legalize TNCs with no driver limits.[412] The compromise was passed by the city council in July 2014.[413]

Washington, D.C.

In January 2012, an Uber driver's cab was impounded as part of a sting by the Washington, D.C. taxicab commission. The commissioner said the company was operating an unlicensed taxicab service in the city.[414] Following a social media campaign by Uber riders, the D.C. city council voted in July 2012 to formally legalize TNCs, which led to protests by taxicab drivers.[415] The Washington, D.C. City Council passed emergency legislation in September 2013 to allow TNCs to operate.[416]


On 30 March 2017, taxi drivers protested against Uber and Yandex in Lviv.[417]


Dynamic pricing

Uber fares are based on a dynamic pricing model, in which fares are higher during periods of high demand for rides. The same route costs different amounts at different times as a result of factors such as the supply and demand for Uber drivers at the time the ride is requested.[418] When rides are in high demand in a certain area and there are not enough drivers in such area, Uber fares increase to get more drivers to that area and to reduce demand for rides in that area.[419] The rate quoted to the rider will reflect such dynamic pricing.[420]

In 2012, then-CEO Travis Kalanick responded to criticism of dynamic pricing by saying: "it's going to take some time for folks to accept [dynamic pricing]. There's 70 years of conditioning around the fixed price of taxis."[421][422] Uber defended this "surge pricing", arguing that without dynamic pricing, there would not be enough drivers to enable riders to get a ride within minutes. Uber cited an example of the aftermath of a sold out Ariana Grande concert at Madison Square Garden in March 2015. As the concert ended, the number of people who opened the Uber app increased four-fold, but, due to the higher prices, the actual ride requests only rose slightly, enabling ride requests to be completed within the usual timeframe.[423]

Uber was criticized for its extreme surcharges during emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy,[424][425] the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis,[426][427][428] and the June 2017 London Bridge attack,[429][430][431] especially when taxis offered to transport riders for free; however, in many cases Uber later refunded surcharges incurred by riders during these events. In 2014, Uber announced that it would not implement surge pricing during emergencies in the United States.[432][433][434] During the 2017 Central Mexico earthquake, Uber offered free rides.[435]


Uber drivers on strike at Montparnasse, Paris, February 3, 2016
A protest against Uber by taxi drivers
A protest against Uber in Portland, Oregon in January 2015
Taxi company protesting against Uber – Budapest, January 18, 2016

Uber has been the subject of protests and legal action from – among others – taxi drivers and taxi companies around the world. These groups allege that Uber bypasses local licensing and safety laws and amounts to unfair competition.[436] Taxi drivers in London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid staged a large-scale protest against Uber on June 11, 2014.[437] In some countries, Uber drivers were also targets of attacks by taxi drivers.

On January 13, 2014, cab drivers in Paris attacked an Uber driver's car near Charles de Gaulle Airport, protesting competition from the transportation startup.[438] On June 11, 2014, in a concerted action, taxis blocked roads in major European cities in protest against what they perceive as a threat to their livelihoods from companies such as Uber. The cabbies contended that Uber and similar smartphone app-based services have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to the same kinds of fees and regulations placed on taxis.[439][440] On June 25, 2015, cab drivers in Paris "locked down" Paris in an anti-Uber protest.[441] Musician Courtney Love got caught in the protest and live tweeted as her Uber cab was violently attacked and her driver was held hostage.[442]

On March 22, 2016, thousands of taxi drivers in Jakarta demonstrated against Uber and a similar service, Grab. Several places were targeted during the protests, including the Indonesian Presidential Palace, the People's Council Building, and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics central office.[443] Taxi drivers accused that Grab and Uber were causing them to receive smaller daily incomes due to the rising number of app users. The demonstrators also demanded that the government ban the apps and issue a governmental decree concerning this problem.[444]

On July 24, 2015, a thousand taxi drivers in Rio de Janeiro blocked traffic during the morning rush hour protesting Uber's expansion there. (Lawmakers have voted to ban Uber in São Paulo and Brasilia.).[445]

On November 26, 2015, an Uber driver was beaten by taxi drivers in Brazil, and similar attacks followed.[446]

On August 21, 2015, Uber started operations in Costa Rica and multiple Uber drivers were immediately attacked by taxi drivers.[447]

In Cape Town, South Africa on June 3, 2016, metered taxi drivers blockaded the road to the city's airport and forced passengers out of vehicles while attacking Uber drivers.[448]

Travel ban, taxi strike, and related protests

In January 2017, the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance called for a halt in pickups from JFK Airport in New York City in response to Donald Trump's Executive Order 13769, which banned entry to the United States from citizens of 7 predominately Muslim countries.[449] Uber users accused the company of attempting to profit from the strike and were angered that Uber did not halt pickups from JFK Airport in solidarity.[450] Some users deleted the Uber app from their phones.[450][449] Kalanick responded by signing an open letter to President Donald Trump that requested he rescind his executive order.[451]

Alleged cancellation of orders to disrupt competitors

Uber issued an apology on January 24, 2014, after documents were leaked to the Valleywag and TechCrunch publications saying that, earlier in the month, Uber employees in New York City deliberately ordered rides from Gett, a newly established competitor, only to cancel them later. The purpose of the fake orders was two-fold: wasting drivers' time to obstruct legitimate customers from securing a car, and offering drivers incentives — including cash — to join Uber.[452] Uber later issued a statement about the incident on its website.

In August 2014, Lyft, another ridesharing service, reported to CNNMoney that 177 Uber employees had ordered and canceled approximately 5,560 rides since October 2013, and that it had found links to Uber recruiters by cross-referencing the phone numbers involved. The CNN Money report identified one Lyft passenger who canceled 300 rides from May 26 to June 10, 2014, and who was identified as an Uber recruiter by seven different Lyft drivers. On this occasion, Uber did not issue an apology, but suggested in a statement on its website that the recruitment attempts were possibly independent parties trying to make money.[453][454] A Lyft spokesperson stated to CNN Money: "It's unfortunate for affected community members that they have used these tactics, as it wastes a driver's time and impacts the next passenger waiting for that driver."[453]

Operation SLOG

In August 2014, The Verge reported that a secret Uber project, called "Operation SLOG" – which recruits members with the assistance of TargetCW, a San Diego, California-based employment agency – appeared to be an extension of the company's activities in relation to Lyft. As reported, on July 9, 2014, following Lyft's expansion into New York City, Uber sent an email offering what it called a "huge commission opportunity" to several contractors based on the "personal hustle" of the participants.[455] Those who responded met with Uber marketing managers who attempted, according to one of the contractors, to create a "street team" to gather intelligence about Lyft's launch plans and recruit their drivers to Uber. Recruits were given two Uber-branded iPhones (one a backup, in case the person was identified by Lyft) and a series of valid credit card numbers to create dummy Lyft accounts.[455] After being contacted for comment, Target CW warned its contractors against talking to the media, stating that it represented a violation of a non-disclosure agreement they signed.[455]

Aggression towards local officials and journalists

An Uber executive is said to have advocated hiring investigators to "dig up dirt" on journalists who criticize them.[456] Portland, Oregon's transportation commissioner called Uber management "a bunch of thugs".[457] A commissioner in Virginia who opposed Uber was flooded with emails and calls after Uber distributed his personal contact information to all of its users in the state.[458]

At a private dinner in November 2014, Emil Michael, senior vice president of Uber, suggested that Uber hire a team of opposition researchers and journalists, with a million-dollar budget, to dig into the personal lives and backgrounds of media figures who reported negatively about Uber. Specifically, he targeted Sarah Lacy, editor of the technology website PandoDaily, who has accused Uber of sexism and misogyny.[459] The controversy made national news and stirred criticism against Uber. "The comments, reportedly made by senior vice president for business Emil Michael at a New York dinner attended by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith," wrote a Washington Post columnist, "ignited a powder keg of criticism about a company already perceived as cut-throat – landing Uber on the front pages of The Washington Post, USA Today and The New York Times."[460] Michael issued a public apology.[461] Later, he sent an email to Lacy: "I was at an event and was venting, but what I said was never intended to describe actions that would ever be undertaken by me or my company toward you or anyone else. I was definitively wrong and I feel terrible about any distress I have caused you."[462]

Speaking with the Australian media publication The Conversation on November 20, 2014, European PR agency FINN partner Raf Weverbergh said that Uber does not realize exactly how upset journalists are in the wake of the Michael incident. On the same date, the publication reported that more journalists deleted their Uber apps. Uber's Brisbane spokesperson stated that journalists will not be investigated by the company in the Australian state of Queensland, in light of the legislative difficulties that were occurring at the time.[463]

Evasion of law enforcement operations using Greyball and Ripley

Uber developed an internal tool called Greyball which uses data collected from the Uber app and by other means to avoid giving rides to certain individuals. The tool was used starting in 2014. By showing "ghost cars" driven by fake drivers to the targeted individuals in the Uber app, and by giving real drivers a means to cancel rides requested by those individuals, Uber can avoid operations by known law enforcement officers in areas where its service is illegal. An investigative report by The New York Times published on March 3, 2017, described Uber's use of Greyball in 2014 to evade city code enforcement officials in Portland, Oregon, Australia, South Korea, and China.[464] In response to the report, Uber stated that Greyball was designed to deny rides to users who violate Uber's terms of service, including those involved in sting operations.[464][465] According to Uber, Greyball can "hide the standard city app view for individual riders, enabling Uber to show that same rider a different version."[466] Uber has reportedly used Greyball to identify government officials through such factors as whether a user frequently opens the app near government offices.[464] Uber employees also reviewed social media profiles to identify law enforcement personnel.[464] In the days following the publication of the New York Times story, Uber admitted that it had used Greyball to thwart government regulators,[467] and it promised to stop using the tool for that purpose.[468]

In May 2017, the United States Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into Uber's use of Greyball to avoid local law enforcement operations.[469][470][471][472]

A January 2018 Bloomberg L.P. report suggested that Uber, after a police raid in its Brussels office, had developed a kind of secret "panic button", initially called "unexpected visitor protocol", then nicknamed "Ripley", to disrupt government investigations by locking, shutting off, and changing passwords on staff computers in the event of a police raid, preventing officials in foreign countries from accessing company data. The company likely used this button at least 24 times from spring 2015 until late 2016.[473][474]

User privacy and data breaches

Kalanick received a letter, dated November 19, 2014, from U.S. Senator Al Franken, Chairman of the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, over user privacy. In addition to a list of 10 questions, Franken stated that the company had a "troubling disregard for customer privacy" and that he was "especially troubled because there appears to be evidence of practices inconsistent with the policy [Uber spokesperson] Ms. Hourajian articulated" and that "it appears that on prior occasions your company [Uber] has condoned use of customers' data for questionable purposes." Franken concluded his letter by asking for a response by December 15, 2014.[475] Concerns were raised about internal misuse of the company's data, in particular the ability of Uber staff to track the movements of its customers, known as "God View". In addition to the aforementioned use of the service to track journalists and politicians, a venture capitalist disclosed in 2011 that Uber staff were using the function recreationally and viewed being tracked by Uber as a positive reflection on the subject's character.[476] An individual who had interviewed for a job at Uber said that he was given unrestricted access to Uber's customer tracking function as part of the interview process, and that he retained that access for several hours after the interview ended.[477]

On February 27, 2015, Uber admitted that it had suffered a data breach more than nine months before. Driver names and license plate information on approximately 50,000 drivers were inadvertently disclosed.[478] Uber discovered this leak in September 2014 but waited more than five months to notify the people affected.[479]

On August 2017, Uber accepted a settlement from the Federal Trade Commission admitting to claiming falsely that internal access to consumers’ personal information was closely monitored on an ongoing basis, and also stating that Uber had failed to live up to its promise to provide reasonable security for consumer data.[480]

In November 2017, it was revealed that a data breach, which occurred in 2016, disclosed personal information on about 600,000 drivers, including license information, and names, email addresses, and phone numbers for 57 million customers. Uber paid a $100,000 ransom to the hackers on the promise they would delete the stolen data.[481][482] The company was subsequently criticized for concealing the loss of data and that concealment could lead to the imposition of higher fines, particularly if the act was intentional.[483] Newly appointed Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologized saying in an email statement "None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it".[484] He added that "we are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of our customers."[485]

Safety concerns

Allegations of inadequate background checks and vetting of drivers

Concerns were raised after reports of sexual abuse of passengers by Uber drivers and after crimes such as the 2016 Kalamazoo shootings. However, it is unclear if Uber is less or more safe than regular taxi cabs, as major cities don't have much data on taxi-related incidents.[486]

In February 2016, Uber was criticized by some people following the 2016 Kalamazoo shootings, purportedly committed by Jason Dalton, an Uber driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton is believed to have been driving for Uber at the time while allegedly conducting a shooting spree that left six people dead and two others wounded. This led to a seven-hour manhunt for the suspect, during which it is believed that Dalton continued to drive and accept fares. Uber was aware of the issues with Dalton's driving skills, having received multiple complaints, though critics agree that Dalton would not have raised any red flags since he did not have a criminal record.[487]

Drivers using the app while driving

Concerns also arose regarding the manner in which the Uber app notifies drivers about new requests for pick-up from customers and how the drivers must respond to such requests.[488] When a customer makes a request, drivers are notified on an official Uber mobile app and are provided the customer's location. In order to accept the request, the driver has approximately 15 seconds to tap the phone to accept the request.[489] An Uber driver reported that drivers can be temporarily suspended for ignoring these requests. Deborah Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board criticized the 15-second system, saying that it presents a significant distraction to drivers, as drivers are financially motivated to respond to fares while driving. In response, Uber has stated that the app "was designed with safety in mind," and that drivers are not required to physically look at the device to accept a fare.[488]

Pedestrian fatalities

In March 2018 a woman was killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.[490] According to police, the woman was run down by the Uber vehicle while attempting to cross the street. [490]


In January 2017, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to the US government to resolve accusations by the Federal Trade Commission of having misled drivers about potential earnings.[491][492][493]

According to a February 2017 lawsuit filed by Waymo, owned by an affiliate of Google, ex-Google employee Anthony Levandowski allegedly "downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation" before resigning to found Otto, which was purchased by Uber.[494][495] A ruling in May 2017 required Uber to return documents to Waymo.[496] The trial began February 5, 2018.[497] A settled was announced February 8, 2018 with Uber giving Waymo $244 million in Uber equity and an agreement to ensure Uber does not infringe Waymo's intellectual property.[498]

In 2017 a lawsuit was filed alleging that Uber uses "sophisticated software" to defraud both drivers and passengers. According to the suit, under the upfront pricing model, when a passenger is quoted a price the app shows a longer more expensive route, meanwhile would-be drivers are shown a shorter cheaper route. The passenger is charged for the more expensive route, while the driver is paid the cheaper, with Uber pocketing the difference.[499]

Workplace culture

In early 2017, Uber was described by insiders as having an "asshole culture".[500][501] Uber's organizational culture was described as one in which employees are lauded for bringing incomplete and unreliable solutions to market in order for Uber to appear to be an innovator and winner.[500] In a corporate culture likened to the novels and TV series A Game of Thrones, in which rivals for the throne vie for power, the company encourages aggression[502] and "back stabbing" (criticizing) of co-workers, in which peers undermine each other and their direct superiors to climb the corporate ladder.[500][502]

Some human resource managers in the software industry see Uber as a potential black mark on the resumes of ex-Uber employees, with one industry manager saying, in reference to “If you did well in that environment upholding those values, I probably don’t want to work with you.”[500] Some Silicon Valley computer programmers labeled Uber as "poisonous" and encouraged any friends who work for the company to quit.[503]

Sexual harassment allegations and management shakeup (2017)

On February 20, 2017, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler stated that she was subjected to sexual harassment by a manager and subsequently threatened with termination of employment by another manager if she continued to report the incident. CTO Thuan Pham had knowledge of Susan Fowler's sexual harassment allegation at Uber and her manager's threatened retaliation, and did nothing; Kalanick was also reportedly aware of the harassment issues.[504][505] Uber hired former attorney general Eric Holder to investigate the claims.[506] Arianna Huffington, a member of Uber's board of directors, also oversaw the investigation.[507] On February 20, 2017, Kalanick led a meeting with employees that was described by the participants as honest and raw.[508]

On February 27, 2017, Amit Singhal, Uber's Senior Vice President of Engineering, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he failed to disclose a sexual harassment claim against him that occurred while he was the Vice President of Google Search.[509][510][511] New York Times journalist Farhad Manjoo described the scandal as a "watershed" for women engineers.[512] Analysts expected that the sexism claims could damage Uber's brand and delay its initial public offering.[513]

On June 6, 2017, Uber announced that it fired over 20 employees as a result of the investigation.[514][515] On June 13, 2017, Kalanick took an indefinite leave of absence from Uber.[516][517] On June 20, 2017, after multiple shareholders reportedly demanded his resignation, Kalanick resigned as CEO.[518][519]

2014 reviews by the Better Business Bureau

In October 2014, Uber received an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which cited complaints over unexpectedly high charges and lack of response to customer complaints.[520]

Use of offshore companies to minimize tax liability

On 5 November 2017, the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment, revealed that Uber is one of many corporations that used offshore companies to minimize taxes.[521][522]


In 2013, USA Today named Uber its tech company of the year.[523]

Uber's marketing

Uber has applied a series of marketing strategies to enter the target markets and grow market shares. From the word of mouth strategy[524] to the partnership strategy,[525] Uber is relying on digital platforms. As Uber has its own digital platforms such as website, apps, social media accounts and so on, the company is doing digital marketing.[526]

4Ps and extended 3Ps in Uber's digital marketing

Website, apps, Social Media[527], Email are the major platforms for their marketing strategies and they applies the Digital marketing mix through these online tools and resources. An online version 7P mix is adapted by Uber.

Uber digital 4Ps


Uber provides various catagories of car and service types for users. For example, riders are able to choose UberPOOL, UberX, UberXL, UberLUX and other ranges of car and services[528] from the official website and apps.


Transparent and dynamic: Take the car sevice for example, the price calculating methods are illustrated in the terms and conditions and the estimated price of each journey can be seen by customers before they call for their cars. As the demand keep changing, Uber is using a dynamic pricing strategy which is based on real-time market demand.


As virtual platforms can be linked to promotion and partnership, the concept of place in digital marketing does not have a clear definition. For Uber, the website and apps are places for them to provide various kinds of services to their customers. According to the operation model of Uber, each customer's location is a place to receive Uber's services.


  • Official Promotion Code: Uber's word of mouth marketing strategy is targeting not only on riders but also on drivers. For the riders, the chance of getting discount encouraged them to use their given personal invitation codes to invite their friends to become new riders[529]. For the drivers, there are also invitation codes for them to invite new drivers, which helps both new and existing drivers get extra profits.[530]
  • Partnership Discount: Apart from the official codes, customers can get promotion codes, giftcards and other discount from Uber's partners such as Groupon[531], MailOnline[532], Vochercodes UK and so on. Partnership differs from one market to another.
  • Partnership (Crossover) Marketing: Uber makes crossover marketing with target markets' brands by using the car service function in its app. The partnerships between Uber and the brands are aiming to create hot topics and attract more attention for both sides of the cooperation.[533]
  • Email advertisting: Uber is sending email to both potential and existing customers. Customers can find information from the emails such as recent special offers and marketing campaigns. For the potential ones, they also receive information like introduction of Uber services from Emails.[534]
  • Social Media: As platforms for Uber to 'tell the stories', interesting short videos, pictures and words are put on Uber's social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

Uber extended 3Ps


  • Customer service: There is an in-build 'help' sector in the Uber app, which includes some common question and issues that customers might ask. It also provides contact information for further assists.
  • Driver service: Uber provides up to 5 contact ways for their drivers to get help[535].

Physical evidence

The Uber app provides good experiences on its layout design, location function, navigation ability, customer service section and the way it communicate with customers.[536]


No-cash payment methods: Customers can choose various kinds of online payment methods that are provided in their countries. By registering the payment methods, customers authorise the app to pay automatically when the trips are finished.

Crossover marketing cases by country



In April 2015, Uber cooperated with 16 enterprises in China to offer interview opportunities for student talents. Students could call for Uber Offer via the Uber app to have a 15-minute interview chance during the Uber trip.

A re-captured picture of uberdream campaign
  • Uber x Magnum: UBERICECREAM in China

In July 2015, Uber did the globally campaign UBERICECREAM throughout 6 continents in the world. In China, Uber crossed with Magnum, a Wall's (Ice cream) brand to deliver ice cream in 14 cities in China.

  • Uber x Taobao

In August 2015, Uber and Taobao launched a campaign called Moving Fitting Room. Uber users in Chengdu, Hangzhou and Guangzhou can make a fitting room request via the Uber app. Customers can get one to one fashion instructions from the professionals in the moving fitting room.

A re-captured picture of uber x taobao campaign


  • UberMask

In April 2015, Uber launched UberMask campaign in Japan. Customers could use the app to require for a mask delivery and the mask would be delivered by a drone.

A re-captured picture of UberMask Campaign


  • Uber x HBO

In April 2015, HBO propagandised the new season of the Game of Thrones with Uber in Manhattan, New York. Uber Users could order ThroneRides via the Uber app.


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