What The Uber?! Uber Tricks Riders with Phantom Cars


If you are an avid Uber user, then you know the wonderful feeling you get when you turn on your app to hail a ride and notice a slew of Uber cars sitting right near your location. You click the button to order an Uber knowing the wait time shouldn’t be more than a couple of minutes, yet when your phone alerts you that an Uber driver is on their way you notice that the wait time is now 15 minutes! Why would a driver so far away pick up your request and not one of the many drivers sitting on your street?

According to Motherboard, those cars that appear to be sitting right on your street are in fact “phantom cars”; fake cars placed in the app by Uber in an attempt to get more riders to request rides. Motherboard explained it like this, “If a potential passenger opened up the app and saw no cars around, she might take another cab service. But if she saw a cluster of cars seemingly milling around on the same street, she’s more likely to request a ride.” When Uber spokespersons were confronted about the phantom car issue their answers ranged from “the number of cars and their location are generally accurate” to “the app is simply showing there are partners on the road at the time”. It seems as though Uber is choosing to be sly (real shocker, we know!) about their phantom car secret.

Have you ever experienced Uber’s “ghost cars” or “phantom cars”? Tell us your stories below!

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