Uber: Driving without Driving

Surge Charge Pricing https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/24345560812

In a city with lots of traffic, people no longer want to or have to drive their own cars. Instead, they opt for services like Uber when they need to drive somewhere.

Uber allows for passengers to request a ride from a location  24/7. They will receive information about the driver’s first name, type of car, and license plate number. As the vehicle approaches, passengers will be able to track its location, and they will receive a message when the vehicle arrives at the location. When the ride is over, the charge is calculated and paid through the passenger’s Uber account.

Uber seems very simple and easy, but some of Uber’s policies cause users to think twice about taking a ride. When the demand for cars is high, Uber will add a surge charge to a trip, potentially doubling the cost. Surge charges may cause some people to delay their rides, or they may decide to pat this extra cost. Uber has recently introduced self driving cars to the road. Before customers were given rides in these cars, they mapped out the streets by beginning in Pittsburgh, since these streets are narrow and have extreme weather conditions. At the beginning of the September, 2016 a dozen of these cars were released onto the streets of Pittsburgh and use location services to drive around the city.

Uber Self Driving Car https://www.flickr.com/photos/iwasaround/26685190944

While self driving cars seem like a good idea, Uber currently still has a driver sit in the car in case anything happens to go wrong. Eventually, these people will be removed from the cars as the cars become more refined. When this happens, passengers may become more passive in their travels since a robot is basically delivering them to their location or it may lower the number of accidents since it will remove human error.

With over eight million users and two billion rides in 400 cities since they were created,
Uber could greatly impact driving. The ease of being able to call a ride up within minutes has been a leading cause of their growth. They introduced self driving cars to the roads and are using the location and number of Uber cars to determine if a surge charge is necessary. By expanding on their already present location systems in place, such as the mapping of Pittsburgh, they could determine the best route possible for an Uber based on the traffic. This could help to eliminate surge charges and make driving more efficient in general by avoiding traffic jams.