What The Uber?! Uber launches a video game!

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We have all heard of the strange ways Uber has tried to recruit new riders; take a 15 minute ride with an influential CEO or cuddle an adorable puppy on your way to work! These fun and unexpected recruitment tactics have become a staple of Uber’s marketing team and the world has come to love these amusing campaigns. So when Uber announced the latest weapon in their unending effort to recruit new drivers yesterday, we knew instantly we had found our What The Uber moment of the week. However, this time Uber isn’t using lovable animals or delicious foods as tactics, but instead the company hopes to gain drivers through…a video game.

The new mobile game, named UberDRIVE, was created to give players a sense of what it is like to be an Uber driver, with an ultimate goal of getting players to sign up to become real life Uber drivers. According to TechCrunch, the game works like this, “Players pick up and drop off various passengers and identify markers around SF by tapping on an interactive map. Players earn points throughout the game as they accept trip requests in dispatch zones and take more efficient routes. The more points a player earns, the more chances they have to unlock better cars and new areas of the city. Uber has also embedded some fun facts about certain city landmarks and included a trivia mode so players can test their knowledge” The catch, however, is that as you move through the game Uber begins to prompt you to sign up and become a driver. These prompts start right as you begin the game but apparently appear more frequently the longer you play. If a player wishes to become a driver they are able to sign up and start the process right from within the game!

According to Uber, UberDRIVE is also meant to double as a way to teach their current drivers how to navigate tricky city driving, though Uber has announced that they are not making the game mandatory for their present drivers. Our team here at TFF tested out the game and we have to admit it is quite fun (tip: if you drive recklessly you will get pulled over!) but we are not confident this is the best way to teach Uber drivers how to navigate busy city streets. As any taxi firm (especially those well trained black cab drivers over in London) can tell you, the best drivers are the ones with a great deal of real life driving practice.

What do you think? Will UberDRIVE succeed in adding new drivers to Uber’s ranks? Will current Uber drivers play to better their skills? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter!

 

If you have a What The Uber moment or want to share a What The Uber story please email [email protected] or use one of the hashtags #WhatTheUber or #WTU (for short!) to get your story featured and shared on our social media channels!

Taxi Hall of Fame & Shame

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An experience in a taxi is often one of the first defining moments when you reach a new city, whether for business or fun. This experience can set the tone for the entire trip, leaving the passenger excited to explore or with a sour taste and low expectations of the city.  We decided to dig deeper into the reputations that different cities around the world have for their taxi services. Based on research conducted from various travel websites, traveler forums, and the TaxiFareFinder community, we have compiled a list of the top five cities with the best and worst reputations. This information was collected, organized, and ranked by TaxiFareFinder staff based on the following criteria points:

  • Availability: the amount of taxis on the street, available to pickup passengers
  • Cleanliness: the state of the taxi when a passenger enters; the cleanliness of the seats, windows, handles, etc.
  • Friendliness: the demeanor and attitude of the driver; willingness to chat and answer questions of the passenger
  • Knowledgeable: the ability of the driver to navigate confidently around the city without getting lost
  • Quality of Driving: the ability of the driver to operate the vehicle in a safe and comfortable manner for the passenger
  • Quality of Vehicles: the condition of the automobile serving as the taxi; up-to-date, well-taken care of vehicles
  • Safety: the overall sense of safety for passengers
  • Value: the cost of the taxi ride in relation to time and distance travelled

The Hall of Fame highlights cities with the best reputations around their taxi services, showing the top 2-3 attributes that allow the city a high ranking. The Hall of Shame highlights cities with low reputations, but with attributes shown in red to signify low ranking in these categories.  Do you agree with the TaxiFareFinder Taxi Hall of Fame & Shame?

What The Uber!? Carnegie Mellon VS Uber

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It’s our first ever What The Uber Friday and we are excited to share this What The Uber moment with you today!

We all know that Uber’s business etiquette could use a dose of compassion but this What The Uber story is just downright malicious! Towards the beginning of the 2015 year, Carnegie Mellon University and Uber happily announced a new strategic partnership. The agreement focused on Carnegie Mellon’s NREC (National Robotics Engineering Center) aiding Uber with their research for driverless taxis while Uber would simultaneously boost Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Engineering Labs through funding.

Seems like a win for all, right?

Wrong. Just about four months after this happy partnership was formed, Uber poached almost all of Carnegie Melon’s staff, using six figure signing bonuses and huge raises to hire away 40 of Carnegie Melons top researchers and scientists! Let’s face it nothing says partnership like “We are going to steal all your top workers but still benefit from attempting to have our name attached to your high end institution!”

In the end we can’t say that this Uber raid is much of a surprise, coming from the company that is notorious for its cut-throat business practices. After the many controversial Uber VS Lyft stories, Uber double crossing a partnership is probably considered small potatoes to CEO Travis Kalanick. In good news, Carnegie Mellon is staying optimistic and is actually trying to look at this situation in a positive light!

If you have a What The Uber moment or want to share a What The Uber story please comment below or use one of the hashtags #WhatTheUber or #WTU (for short!) to get your story featured and shared on our social media channels!

 

To read more on the Uber/Carnegie Mellon scandal visit the Wall Street Journal for the full story.

How to Use RideShare Apps (Video)

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New to rideshares? Not sure how to sign up and call one? TaxiFareFinder created this helpful video to show you how to download the app, sign up, and start using rideshares like Uber and Lyft. Happy Traveling!

For more information on rideshares, make sure to check out our helpful Rideshare Guides. (http://www.taxifarefinder.com/rideguru)

A Beginner’s Guide to RideGuru

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How Safe is Uber?

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Since Uber’s inception there have been numerous reports of Uber rides gone awry and it has led many people to ask the same question, “How safe is Uber?”. Check out the below infographic to learn what Uber is doing to ensure your safety and where they are still falling short. Be informed and be safe before you ride!

Uber Background Checks

How Safe is Uber? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compliments of BackgroundChecks.org