Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

>"We've underinvested in the driver experience," a senior official said. "We are now re-examining everything we do in order to rebuild that love."

This just seems so crazy to me. A company who's very foundations are built on its number one assets: drivers has been neglecting them. It's like an airline neglecting its pilots or hospital neglecting its surgeons. Without drivers, Uber dies. I know they're investing in self-driving vehicles, but self-driving Uber's are a long way off after a spate of incidents and the pending Waymo lawsuit. It's going to take many more millions and countless lobbying to adopt laws for self-driving vehicles.

Seems to me that Uber see their drivers as temporary pawns in a long game of chess. Eventually, Uber hopes to replace their drivers with self-driving vehicles a dream they've been aggressively trying to make happen. What a horrible business.




Hospitals abuse residents who are the future lifeblood of the hospitals. Just because the personnel are essential doesn't preclude the abuse.


Hospitals have the luxury of choice. Where else are the doctors going to practice?


I feel like there's less choice in that case. With Uber, I can flip to lift or a taxi or black car service with the push of a button - don't have to think about what's closest or in-plan.


That's a form of institutionalized hazing. Probably unethical, but I've seen behavioral science defenses of it.


Have you ever spoken to a surgeon or pilot? Both are probably more disgruntled than the average Uber driver.


What else are the drivers going to do? Flip burgers at McDonald's? Driving an Uber is still as good as you're going to get with flexible hours and no skills. I say this as someone who drives for Uber (albeit part-time for fun).


> A company who's very foundations are built on its number one assets: drivers

Uber is still built on vc rounds and it's foundation is the idea that they might be a monopoly if they can survive enough to drive all competitors out of business.

That foundation is shaking, but they're not ready yet to compete at market prices. I fully expect more shenanigan involving messing with drivers, as they are not ready to pull out the veil they put in front of the customers yet.


Airlines do underinvest in their pilots and hospitals in their nurses. Management is shockingly short sighted about these things.


Are they actually short sighted or are they actually behaving economically rationally?


Drivers are not Uber's life blood. Passengers ignorant of the company's treatment of their drivers, and other shady tactics are.


Passengers ignorant of the company's treatment of their drivers, and other shady tactics are.

This is such a mindblowing thing to me; as you can't throw a rock without finding site after site, blogpost among blogpost among forum post among social media share/tweet/post of this-among other instances of Uber conducting some very ugly, clandestine business that screws drivers over and because they're so damn convenient people just ignore it completely at best-shoot the messenger with a .50 caliber barrage at worst.

None of this is more prevalent than in my city subreddit of /r/austin where people are convinced that the city banned Uber/Lyft when every news outlet in the city wrote at length how the former bought a referendum over fingerprinting rules (which Uber complies with in more profitable cities), lost said referendum vote, and then left of their own volition after targeting a(n admittedly unpopular) councilwoman.

That hasn't stopped the overriding narrative that we forced the company out unfairly.

It's a weird phenomenon to behold. They treat their workers like utter crap; I wonder if you took some of the tactics they employ, apply them to any other sector and make them as public as Uber's have been-if anyone would stand for it. Or does the convenience factor of Uber compared to a cab make it easier for people to engage in rampant whataboutism?


> This is such a mindblowing thing to me; as you can't throw a rock without finding site after site, blogpost among blogpost among forum post among social media share/tweet/post of this-among other instances of Uber conducting some very ugly, clandestine business that screws drivers over and because they're so damn convenient people just ignore it completely at best-shoot the messenger with a .50 caliber barrage at worst.

Yes you can. Here in Australia literally nobody that doesn't browse HN gives a fuck. I can't name one person I know IRL that knows anything about Uber other than that it's 1000x better and more convenient than the taxi service here.


Well, there's only one way to change that.. I can hardly name one person I know IRL who hasn't copped an Uber rant from me :)


So in said rant, how do you address the fact that, at least here in Melbourne, Uber is a much better experience than taxis?

I know a lot about how Uber works, and I still use them, because the experience is so much better.


Haven't caught an Uber in Melbourne, but I've caught both cabs and Ubers in Sydney and aside from a few dollars extra a fare and maybe a more service-y vibe in cabs, I've hardly noticed a difference. My Melbourne cab experiences were more or less the same as what I get in Sydney, but I much preferred taking rental bikes or the tram anyway.

What stands out for you in Ubers? I actually prefer the atmosphere of a cab - I really dislike the whole "let's be friends haha have a mint what music do you like I'm a Cool Guy™" Uber thing, I find it super corny and transparent. You're not my friend if I'm paying you for a service, and I know you're just gaming me to get your stars or a tip.


> It's like an airline neglecting its pilots

Sorry but that's a really bad comparison. In Europe pilots go on strike all the time due to the abuse.


The sad reality is that Uber's drivers are dispensable and replaceable. There's an endless supply of unemployed/underemployed people, and they'll do whatever it takes to support themselves and their families, even if it means begrudgingly working for Evil Corporation.


Their promo video from a year ago tells you everything. [1]

They thought they'd get to self driving cars pretty quick. They didn't (yet).

[1] https://youtu.be/bx1-im6i8uk?t=1m40s


The problem here is that to some degree it's a zero-sum game between drivers and passengers. Anything Uber does to benefit the one probably comes at the expense of the other.


They underinvested in drivers because they were very optimistic about self-driving cars. Now they see that replacing drivers won't happen quick enough they realizing need to pump investment in drivers.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: