Some Uber drivers are driving for up to 20 hours straight, USA Today reported. A flaw in the Uber app that might be deliberate allows drivers to drive as much as they want.
Disturbingly Uber might even be encouraging the dangerous practice, a USA Today article indicates. Provo, Utah, driver James Lindsey started working 24 hour shifts when his pay inexplicably doubled to $20 an hour.
Lindsey is far from alone the App-Based Drivers Association; a teamsters affiliate in Seattle has received complaints from hundreds of drivers that work up to 16 hours a day. Many Uber affiliates are driving to the point of fatigue, the Association’s Policy coordinator Dawn Gearhart said.
Is Uber Encouraging Drivers to work 16 Hours a Day?
Some Uber drivers work the long hours because they make as little as $5 an hour, USA Today reported. Malene Comes; a driver in Albuquerque, was making $250 a weekend though she was driving for 16 hours a day.
One reason why drivers work that much is that they receive bonuses for completing 35 rides in a period usually a weekend. That sounds as if Uber is deliberately encouraging such long hours.
Interestingly enough Lyft shuts of its App after 14 hours straight but Uber stays working. Yet disturbingly Uber might be able to get away with because there might be no law against the practice because Uber drivers are independent contractors.
This sounds like a law suit waiting to happen to me, especially if somebody gets hurt or killed by a tired driver. Uber’s claim that it is not responsible for its driver’s fatigue probably won’t get very far in civil court. Uber has already gotten in trouble for making drivers work too long in Massachusetts and overseas.
Alphabet Drops Uber Lawsuit
Waymo, the self-driving car unicorn owned by Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG), has dropped most of its patent infringement claims against Uber.
Alphabet withdrew three claims that alleged Waymo had stolen its LIDAR (Light Direction and Ranging) sensor technology, NBC News reported. The LIDAR technology was described in documents that Otto Motors founder Anthony Levandowski supposedly stole from Waymo before he left.
Since Levandowski has left Uber; and might be facing criminal charges, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) might figure the suit is pointless. The man who hired Levandowski, former CEO Travis Kalanick has also left the building so the suit is seemingly pointless.
Uber is now claiming that Levandowski stole the documents in an effort to force Alphabet to pay him a $120 million bonus. One has to wonder if any believe that. I have a feeling this lawsuit is far from over.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.