License suspended in Sheffield, UK

The city of Sheffield, UK suspended Uber’s license. Uber said this was an “administrative error” resulting from the company’s failure to change the name on its license based on the departure of the company’s UK head. Sheffield said such a change is not permitted, while Uber said it successfully made this change in other jurisdictions.

Drivers in Nigeria use fake GPS to inflate fares

In Lagos, Nigeria, Uber drivers used apps to override phone GPS, causing Uber’s app to record a longer route than was actually taken and inflating the fares charged to passengers. Quartz reports many drivers inflating fares by 1000 to 2000 naira ($3 to $6), though some inflated far more than that.

Drivers reported using this tactic in response to Uber reducing the amount they were paid. They describe protesting unsuccessfully, and resorting to GPS trickery for lack of other ways to get the payment they thought they deserved.

Some drivers said Uber knew about their methods and allowed them to continue. One driver described the Uber app reporting “fake location detected” yet allowing the driver to proceed and charge an inflated fare.

Uber says it refunds all riders who report fraudulent activity.

Passenger steals driver’s tips; Uber declines to assist

After a passenger stole cash from a driver’s tip jar, caught in dashcam video, the driver contacted Uber to report the problem. Uber replied to note that the passenger denied the allegation. Uber continued:

If you believe the rider has your cash as captured from your dash cam and is refusing to return it, you may want to initiate a formal investigation via the police.

Facing subsequent media scrutiny, Uber indicated having banned the passenger from further use of Uber.

Blind couple says Uber denied them a ride, dragged one down the street

A Boston couple reported that Uber denied them a ride because they were traveling with a service dog.

The Boston Globe reports that after being denied service, one of the passengers got his hand caught in the window and was dragged about 15 feet, causing road rash and requiring five stitches.

Uber said the driver was removed, and noted that drivers are rqeuired to accommodate service animals.

Autonomous vehicles made unsafe and unlawful turns through bike lanes

When Uber’s autonomous cars were driving in San Francisco, they violated state law as to treatment of bike lanes. The Verge explains:

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition … executive director, Brian Weidenmeier … said he twice saw an Uber car in self-driving mode make an “unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane” during a trial of the service on Monday last week. Rather than merging into bike lanes early to make right-hand turns, as per California state law, the Uber vehicle reportedly pulled across the bike lanes at the last second, risking collisions with oncoming cyclists.

Weidenmeier explained further in a post with diagrams and citations to applicable California law.

Uber admitted that its autonomous vehicles have a “problem” with their treatment of bike lanes.