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London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the getting-the-green-light dept.

United Kingdom 105

An anonymous reader writes London's transportation regulator has ruled private-driver provider Uber is operating within the law. Licensed taxi drivers in London last month staged a protest urging Transport for London to find that Uber's mobile app acts as a taximeter, which is illegal for use by private-hire vehicles. "TfL said in a statement: 'In relation to the way Uber operates in London, TfL is satisfied that based upon our understanding of the relationship between the passenger and Uber London, and between Uber London and Uber UV, registered in Holland, that it is operating under the terms of the 1998 PHV(L) Act.' The decision was welcomed by Uber's general manger in the UK and Ireland Jo Bertram as a 'victory for common sense, technology, innovation — and above all, London.'"

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Expect the Republicans... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47381969)

to kill this just like they did Uber here in Seattle. Their kind hates people that are trying to make a living. Some of them even called for the execution of drivers that picked-up passengers at the local airport.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 2 months ago | (#47381971)

Dumbass. They called for sterilization. They didn't call for an execution. The CONservatives that rule here are crazy, but not that crazy. They only want the Uber drivers to not be able to procreate.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47381977)

Uh, I don't think the United Kingdom has any Republicans, or at least none with any particular political power...

Re:Expect the Republicans... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47381983)

Uh, I don't think the United Kingdom has any Republicans, or at least none with any particular political power...

The United Kingdom itself doesn't have any political power.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 months ago | (#47382019)

Uh, I don't think the United Kingdom has any Republicans, or at least none with any particular political power...

Maybe not American Republicans... But the UK is currently in the grips of a Conservative government (that party is actually called the Conservatives but commonly referred to as the Tories) and much like the US conservatives, they hate the working class with a passion.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (4, Insightful)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47382087)

I thought it was Labour that try to make the rich richer and accept back-handers from industry leaders? Or was it the LibDems? Maybe I'm just getting confused, but it seems like they're all equally sleazebags and they'll say whatever they think people want to hear.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (3, Insightful)

Roxoff (539071) | about 2 months ago | (#47382239)

I thought it was Labour that try to make the rich richer and accept back-handers from industry leaders? Or was it the LibDems? Maybe I'm just getting confused, but it seems like they're all equally sleazebags and they'll say whatever they think people want to hear.

I think you've summed up the whole of politics in that last sentence of yours there. We rarely see it described so succinctly.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382753)

Your claims are not mutually exclusive. Labour have had some shady dealings in the past, as have the LibDems (but less so). Both Labour and the LibDems have not engaged in the anti-poor-people tactics of the Conservatives in levels anywhere near as great. This is evident in the cuts to public spending by the Conservatives (which hurts poor people most), the attacks on unions, and the spates of privatisation.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | about 2 months ago | (#47383523)

Spending cuts are not the same as being "anti-poor".

If you can't live within your means the cuts are going to happen one way or another whether you want them to or not. The current method is simply to inflate the currency (print or borrow) until it is worth less. That monthly welfare handout drops in buying power even as they increase the dollar/pound amount on the check.

If you think either part is "pro-working class/poor" you are an idiot. They are "pro" themselves and that's it.

Re: Expect the Republicans... (1)

Avoiderman (82105) | about 2 months ago | (#47383923)

Spending cuts targeting benefits that haven't cut the debt or deficit (go read the government stats) are politically motivated. And you sir, by name calling, have already lost the argument.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382807)

The difference is that Labour and Liberal Democrats have to do that in secret, where as the Tories include it in their manifesto.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 2 months ago | (#47384239)

It's all of them. Now move on.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 2 months ago | (#47382251)

Except the vast majority of British Conservatives regard America Republicans as slightly loony extreme right wing. They have far more in common with the Democrats which goes to show how right wing American politics is.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 months ago | (#47382045)

Uh, I don't think the United Kingdom has any Republicans, or at least none with any particular political power...

British republicans are av fringe group, as you would expect the term "republican" has an entirely different meaning [republic.org.uk] in a monarchy, constitutional or otherwise.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 months ago | (#47382151)

I believe, the Green Party (with 1 MP) has an official policy of republicanism, so technically there is at least one. I gather a few other MPs support this as well. Of course this is a pedantic reinterpretation of what republicanism means.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | about 2 months ago | (#47382543)

I believe, the Green Party (with 1 MP) has an official policy of republicanism, so technically there is at least one. I gather a few other MPs support this as well. Of course this is a pedantic reinterpretation of what republicanism means.

In fairness, the US's Democratic party has an official policy of republicanism. Every Democrat elected official from President Obama on down was, tautologically, either elected by individual voters, or selected in some manner to fill an unexpired term. In either case, the Democrat elected official is charged with voting on behalf of their constituents; their constituents don't get to vote themselves.

Also of note, the US's Republican party has an official policy of support for a democratic system of government. Republicans believe that the best way to select elected officials is generally in a "one man, one vote" style election (the exceptions are for things like unexpired terms.)

TLDR: The US is a democratic republic. The two primary political parties picked pleasant sounding names that have never had anything to do with issues they support.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382623)

the US's Democratic party has an official policy of republicanism. Every Democrat elected official [...] is charged with voting on behalf of their constituents; their constituents don't get to vote themselves.

"Republic", at least for the past few centuries, doesn't mean representative democracy. It just means you don't have a monarchy. So while Democrats are indeed republicans, it has nothing to do with the system of democracy that your specific republic uses.

Republicans believe that the best way to select elected officials is generally in a "one man, one vote" style election

Except for the whole gerrymandering thing.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382765)

"Republic" doesn't mean what you think it does. It has nothing to do with democracy. It simply means a country that is not ruled by a dynastic leader. That's it.

So both parties have an official policy of republicanism if they are not actively seeking to replace the president with a leader chosen by dynasty.

Re: Expect the Republicans... (2)

Avoiderman (82105) | about 2 months ago | (#47383977)

*cough* Bush

Re:Expect the Republicans... (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | about 2 months ago | (#47384573)

I didn't say it does. The Democratic and Republican parties agree, as their official positions, that the United States should be governed as a democratic republic. (Note the small letters on both adjectives.) No shit the Democrats are "in favor of democracy" and the Republicans are "in favor of republicanism." However, the Democrats are ALSO "in favor of republicanism" and the Republicans are ALSO "in favor of democracy." To an outside observer from a country whose political parties have more meaningful names, this isn't necessarily obvious. In the UK (where the parent poster seems to be from), some of the more major parties have more meaningful names. (For example, the "Labour" party picked their name because they claims to support policies that are better for "Labourers" than business owners.) That's the contrast I was drawing.

Re: Expect the Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382047)

And the dems will try to make it so poor people can get free cab rides paid for by my hard earned tax dollars.

Both political parties suck, but lately the GOP has been a bit more sane, at least when it comes to economic issues.

Re:Expect the Republicans... (3, Funny)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47382081)

Republicans? Are they people who used to run pubs, gave it up, and then got back into running pubs again?

I don't think they hate people who make a living - they're just trying to serve up some booze.

Re: Expect the Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382127)

I think republicans are people like gerry adams and martin mcguinness. Who actually do have a modicum of power these days.

Re: Expect the Republicans... (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 months ago | (#47382197)

They're over in Ireland - we don't really take them seriously. Even when they were exploding US-funded IRA bombs, we just kept a stiff upper lip and refused to be scared by them (I still can't believe that they failed to explode Thatcher with that Brighton bombing).

It makes me laugh that the USA used to be so happy to fund terrorism and now they get so crazy scared of terrorists that they allow their government to run rough-shod all over their constitution.

Backfire (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47381973)

However, the protest seems to have massively backfired, with Uber reporting a colossal 850 per cent rise in the number of people who had downloaded the company's app in wake of the protest.

I wonder how much of this is attributable to the Streisand Effect. I expect that with the generic name Uber it didn't stand out as meaning anything to most non-tech consumers (or even many tech-types for that matter) but the protests made the news and made taxi service harder to come by, planting the name in consumers' minds and giving them a reason to use it.

The smartest thing that the cabbies could have done was to step up their game as far as their service, doing as good a job as possible to show why they're professionals and deserve to be paid as such, compared to any-random-driver that Uber could deliver. Unfortunately hindsight is 20/20...

Re:Backfire (4, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382371)

London cab drivers can't exactly step up their game without insane amounts of investment - they're the best of the best. They already spend years studying to become a taxi driver, and they already know central London and most of the rest by heart. They already know where the traffic jams are at any given time of the day, and the current best route from where they are to where they need to be. I think they're scared this Uber nonsense will take their fares away, which they have worked insanely hard to even be in a position to serve, and bring the reputation of their profession down. There's no way Uber can compete with the quality of the black cab, or even probably price (if you factor in the length of route selected by an utter professional), but until people realise that, there could very well be a horrible time for the black cab drivers.

Re:Backfire (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47382441)

London cab drivers can't exactly step up their game without insane amounts of investment - they're the best of the best.

They can improve their level of customer service, though. Also, all that vaunted "knowledge" is still inferior to Google. Google knows all that stuff too, and it's more reliable than a cab driver.

Re:Backfire (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382587)

London cab drivers can't exactly step up their game without insane amounts of investment - they're the best of the best.

They can improve their level of customer service, though. Also, all that vaunted "knowledge" is still inferior to Google. Google knows all that stuff too, and it's more reliable than a cab driver.

You've posted this twice. And you've been wrong both times. Google is not an omniscient god; you need to stop shilling for them.

Re:Backfire (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382721)

Google doesn't know that stuff, though. Google's map data is great - don't get me wrong - but it doesn't know about the fluctuations in traffic that the cabbies do. It doesn't know about that accident that happened 30 minutes ago, that the cabby saw earlier, or that small street which is marked incorrectly on Google Maps which is navigable. It also doesn't know what "That road of Essex Road where there used to be that pub called the Red Lion or Red Dragon or something" refers to, which is something plenty of cabbies would know, as their knowledge extends far beyond The Knowledge, and includes plenty of historical data for well-travelled routes.

So yeah - Google is great, but it's not up to the standard of even an average black cab driver.

Re:Backfire (2)

shilly (142940) | about 2 months ago | (#47382863)

On the other hand, cabbies are known to sometimes be complete and utter shits, and there's virtually no comeback.

Failing to stop for fares is a common one.
Spouting off vile opinions.
Driving like a twat.
Driving people the long way round to make extra cash
etc

Uber doesn't eliminate all this, but it certainly does make it much more difficult for a driver to take the piss, given that the journey details are recorded, including passenger and driver details.

Cabbies are their own worst enemy, I'm afraid.

Re:Backfire (1)

dintech (998802) | about 2 months ago | (#47383481)

My favourite cab app at the moment is Kabbee [kabbee.com] . You enter your start and end points and a handful of taxi companies give you automated quotes. In terms of price: Black Cab > Addison Lee > Uber > Kabbee.

Re:Backfire (1)

shilly (142940) | about 2 months ago | (#47383835)

Black cabs can sometimes be cheaper than AddLee, whose fares depend on crossing postcode boundaries. But I agree in general with your hierarchy.

Re:Backfire (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 months ago | (#47384773)

It doesn't know about that accident that happened 30 minutes ago

I'm not sure sure about this. In certain major cities I've driven (Canada mind, not the UK), my maps has been pretty good at flagging heavy-traffic areas as yellow or red. It might not know it's an accident, but it does seem to know where slowdowns are. Perhaps it's just basing data on prediction via time-of-day, or maybe they'll aggregating phone GPS/nav data and figuring out that "X devices have been stuck/slowed in this area for Y minutes".

Re:Backfire (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 2 months ago | (#47384265)

I've seen a cab recently with an U-B-E-R sign in the back (Manchester UK).

Presumably his taxi-overlords don't know anything about it :D

Car analogy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47381989)

I am finding this difficult to understand... How about a good old-fashioned car analogy?

Re:Car analogy? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 months ago | (#47382177)

Do you want to be sitting next to a random person who is police checked and fully insured for a longer car trip?

Re:Car analogy? (2)

GoddersUK (1262110) | about 2 months ago | (#47382359)

Because, in London at least, that's exactly what Uber will give you. See news.bbc.co.uk/dna/place-lancashire/plain/A721144

Calm London (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47381991)

I was walking down Fleet St in London on the day of the taxi protest, and the roads were just a great line of taxis... and it was wonderful! No traffic - not moving anyway - and everyone walking as though it was a great boulevard. Nice and quiet and safe, taxi drivers standing around chatting to anyone who came within range.

And I thought, "wouldn't it be great if it was like this every day?" .... and now it sounds like it might be, because they'll not take this ruling quietly! But I much prefer taxis parked in long lines than zipping around trying to hit everyone, so for now, it's all good.

Re:Calm London (3, Funny)

Roxoff (539071) | about 2 months ago | (#47382259)

And I thought, "wouldn't it be great if it was like this every day?" .... and now it sounds like it might be, because they'll not take this ruling quietly! But I much prefer taxis parked in long lines than zipping around trying to hit everyone, so for now, it's all good.

People would still need to get -across- the city. I was thinking about this the other day - if the roads are going to be jammed up, then perhaps there'd be a way to use rail to get people about, maybe run the trains -underneath- the city somehow. There must be old tunnels or caves or whatever they could run the tracks through?

Re:Calm London (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382295)

Yeah, there are old tunnels, but they're used as storage for some kind of tubing, from what I understand. So that's not a viable option to transport people across the city. I'm thinking maybe ziplines?

say what you will... (4, Insightful)

meeotch (524339) | about 2 months ago | (#47381999)

...agree with the decision or disagree. But what's the deal with every legal matter, ever, requiring the involved parties to make public statements that sound like they're on the junior high debate team?

"The decision was welcomed by Uber's general manger as a 'victory for common sense, technology, innovation - and above all, London.'" No - the end of WWII was a victory for London. This is just one more thing Londoners can spend their money on.

"Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said, 'We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done. We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world." No, you're basically a cable company. A meaningful impact would be finding a cure for Alzheimer's.

Are canned statements like this actually effective in convincing the public that your pet project is inextricably linked to the survival of humanity itself? 'Cause to me, they just make you sound like a disingenuous prick.

Even better: this cliche soundbite garbage seems to be the only language spoken by our elected representatives, as well. Why not hire an orchestra to play ominous music in the background, while you're at it? It saddens me to see supposed leaders and captains of industry acting like pre-teens. It speaks poorly of us as a race.

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382017)

Here here! Well said.

Re:say what you will... (1, Troll)

torsmo (1301691) | about 2 months ago | (#47382221)

I think your hereing abilities have been impaired. The phrase is "hear hear"

Re:say what you will... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47382093)

That kind of attitude will be the cause of our demise. Motivating statements are the fabric on which reposes the well being of London, and, by extension the Earth.

We were at the edge of the precipice, but this is a big step forward. A three sixty degree turn that will allow us to set foot where no one has gone before.

Re:say what you will... (1)

gizmod (931775) | about 2 months ago | (#47382827)

A three sixty degree turn that will allow us to set foot where no one has gone before.

So much for changing direction :/

Re:say what you will... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47383533)

Besides the big Woosh the statement could be read as three sixty degree turns, which would be totaled as one-hundred eighty degrees. Or a step in the opposite direction. Of course it's a little difficult to turn 180 degrees and go where no one has gone before. Still, it makes about as much sense as most marketing speak. Every time I hear a company talking about their new product being a "quantum leap" I have to laugh.

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382117)

You sound like a frustrated cab driver.

If something is making the every day lives of people more convenient at an affordable cost, how is that not a positive impact on the world?

I don't use Uber nor do I plan to but I've seen how it has become a new and reliable mode of transportation among my colleagues and friends so I don't really see where your bitterness is stemming from. Someone has to find a cure for cancer for you to consider their actions worthwhile?

Re:say what you will... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47382179)

There's quite a margin between "worthwhile" and "A victory for common sense, technology, innovation - and above all, London.".

Disliking the hysteria and sensationalization of day to day legal decisions is not bitterness but maturity.

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382219)

I think he was just indicating that politicians and PR folks speak alot of round-about rubbish and should just be more direct and to the point. Can relate. When I hear some politicians start talking on the telly they do come off as disingenuous and i promptly change the channel.

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382227)

The point is that these CEO type people try to sound like they have found the cure for cancer. Doing some team events the company where I work raised about 700k for charity and the CEO sounded like he was almost responsible for world peace. He makes more than what they raised in a month and on top of it he just flew over in his private jet to give that speech! Simply nauseating

Re:say what you will... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 months ago | (#47382189)

I give you an 8.7, your argument is logical and you made it passionately, but your posture is terrible and you didn't sell it with your body language. Improve on those points and you might qualify for the state championship!

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382271)

More specifically, you didn't wave your hands around enough. You'll never convince the general public like that!

Re:say what you will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382575)

Heeeey hooo, who got out the bed on the wrong side today? You~ did~.

Holland (1)

pahles (701275) | about 2 months ago | (#47382003)

I guess Uber UV is registered in the Netherlands, not Holland.

Re:Holland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382069)

It could be registered in both. Just like a company could be registered in New York and USA. Or San Francisco and California...

Re:Holland (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382129)

Except that 'holland' does not exist as anything other than as a general geographical region. There's the country the Netherlands, and there are the provinces North Holland and South Holland. And those don't keep company registers. So it's probably safe to assume that 'Holland' here is the colloquially used term for The Netherlands (as we tend to do ourselves, adding to the general confusion but always giving the pedantics like me and gp something to do).

Re:Holland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382743)

I always call the U.S.A. "Dakota"

Re:Holland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382207)

I don't think so. In the Netherlands, the word "Uber" has a negative connotation (even before the company existed). See wikipedia.

Re:Holland (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 2 months ago | (#47382533)

So? The Netherlands are a tax haven for postal-box firms from all over the world. These firms have no business in the Netherlands, except for avoiding to pay tax. They don't care what their name says in Dutch.

to be fair... (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 2 months ago | (#47382015)

I think they would be happy with a level playing field...

That's not going to make (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | about 2 months ago | (#47382029)

the fat, racist, overpriced cabbies happy! "They come over 'ere, with their apps and technology... you can't beat the knowledge". Turns out, you can; you just need to know where you are, where you're going, and how to get there. Works fine when I'm travelling abroad; why do you suppose it should stop working in London? (North London at that; they don't like driving South of the river...too many darkies, right fat boy?)

That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382203)

The reason your rat in a maze approach works is because you're not trying to optimise for time, just motion.

Time.

Google maps or whatever Uber drivers are using is not better than the Knowledge.

Your lack of the fundamentals really does remove you from any debate on the matter.

Re:That's not going to make (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382261)

Except the knowledge isn't used to optimize the customers time.

It's used to optimize the drivers.

Go deny fares from people not in your precious optimal profit zone some more, you useless twat

Re: That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383645)

And you lost the argument.

Re:That's not going to make (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47382461)

Google maps or whatever Uber drivers are using is not better than the Knowledge.

Uh, what? Google knows with far more precision than any cabbie where the roads are, where they go, what's on them, what it looks like, and when each particular road tends to have the highest utilization. That's because Google not only "never" forgets, but also because a cabbie is just one person, but Google reads the driving behavior of many.

Re:That's not going to make (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382663)

Google knows with far more precision than any cabbie where the roads are, where they go, what's on them, what it looks like, and when each particular road tends to have the highest utilization. That's because Google not only "never" forgets, but also because a cabbie is just one person, but Google reads the driving behavior of many.

Do you take one day a week out of your life to worship Google, or does Google know that your thoughts are of Google and this is penance enough? Is posting positive things about Google on Slashdot like saying Hail Mary?

Re:That's not going to make (2)

Salgat (1098063) | about 2 months ago | (#47382713)

He has a legit point though. Google not only can give you multiple routes to take depending on what you want, but also knows in real time the traffic on every street in the city and can dynamically change your route to avoid it. Technology is constantly replacing jobs and freeing up money for other parts of the economy, this is a good thing but the transition can be difficult for some.

Traffic info (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 months ago | (#47384779)

Anyone know where Goog gets this info? From some public traffic report, or by polling/interpreting data from local mobile devices?

Re:Traffic info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47384935)

From other android users using maps near you, in real time. Also from statistical models they've made.

Re:That's not going to make (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47383085)

Do you take one day a week out of your life to worship Google, or does Google know that your thoughts are of Google and this is penance enough?

I have real concerns about Google's proliferation, and their expanding control of information, but that doesn't change the validity of the point. Google knows right now where people are stuck in traffic and where they aren't, all over the world. And they have street-level imagery of streets individual cabbies haven't been down. What a cab driver might know that google maps won't tell you is where the high-crime areas are. You might want to route around them. On the other hand, few of those areas are the most convenient route to anywhere. Chicken, egg, whatever, that's another conversation.

Having a fancy test for a cab driver proves that the driver can pass a fancy test. It doesn't prove that they'll be a good cab driver, just that they have the necessary information and skills. They're all going away anyway, as self-driving cars come into their own. Human-driven cabs will be a fringe service used mostly by old people and then they will go away.

Re:That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383449)

I have real concerns about Google's proliferation, and their expanding control of information, but that doesn't change the validity of the point. Google knows right now where people are stuck in traffic and where they aren't, all over the world.

Google knows almost no information that is not known already by someone else. Even many of their non-search products are basically giant searchable databases of other people's data. By making it out to be a scapegoat you are just playing a giant game of whack-a-mole.

Re:That's not going to make (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47383725)

Google knows almost no information that is not known already by someone else.

Yes, someone else. But not everyone else. Google compiles information and then makes sense of it, that's what makes it valuable. That information is only slightly valuable when spread across a population, it's highly valuable when centralized.

Re:That's not going to make (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382729)

Cabbies talk, you know. They hang out frequently and discuss the state of the traffic and the roads. They do this because they know it helps them to all be aware of such things. Google also doesn't have good historical data, whereas cabbies can tap into the knowledge of Londoners (themselves & their colleagues) who have lived there their entire lives. Google's data on utilisation is nowhere near as accurate as cabbies' as Google isn't driving these streets every single day - their data is simply not as granular as cabbies'. The way you spell "utilization" hints you might not know precisely of which you speak...

Re:That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382829)

Except that Google is driving those streets every single day. They have hundreds of sensors on every street every day. Probably more than 50% of cars have one.

Re:That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383685)

Except that Google is driving

Google is driving?

Re:That's not going to make (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 months ago | (#47382841)

There's nothing unique about London cabbies, in that regard. All over the world there are drivers who are familiar with the road system they live/work in.

Amused how you managed to find a way to imply that, as someone who spells utilization that way, his opinion is somehow inferior to a natives! (You might, given this attitude - to say nothing of your username - like "the book of Dave", by Will Self, which imagines a future society which has at its scripture a notebook from a 20th century London cab driver!).

Historical data? Sorry - I just want to get across town. I need to know how to get there, avoiding any local, current problem. Google does that - or have you not checked? State of the roads? My car's got suspension, so that's not really a problem. Also, you're out of scope now; the knowledge doesn't cover that, and I'm not always going to be driving myself; I might chose a minicab from someone more sensibly priced, friendlier (rather an Asian with something to say, that an outsized racist who's afraid to cross Battersea Bridge) who also has access to Google Maps, and a radio network of colleagues.

Face it, London Cabbies are going to go away. Might as well deal with in instead of clinging to increasingly desperate USPs!

Re: That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383799)

Face it, you aren't a Londoner and have no relevant knowledge. Gtfo.

Re:That's not going to make (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47384111)

There's nothing unique about London cabbies, in that regard. All over the world there are drivers who are familiar with the road system they live/work in.

Except London cabdrivers are required by law to know the roads. They have to literally memorize the map of London and be able to instantly create a trip given any two endpoints without consulting a map. (That is part of the test). Most cabbies spend 1-2 years just studying for this part of the test.

That has been one of the distinguishing features of London taxis - the drivers know where they're going. By law.

Re:That's not going to make (1)

Vellmont (569020) | about 2 months ago | (#47383431)

Umm.. you do realize that if the Google technology is all that great, then the experienced cabbies can just get one of the traffic broadcast tools.

Which is better, experienced London cabbie+technology, or some random guy+technology?

The london cabbie is also regulated on price. Ueber has "surge" pricing, so you can suddenly be gouged by Ueber when they detect a period when they can get away with charging more.

Re: That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383539)

And Google claims my daily commute is only one hour. That is more informative than my experience? Experience beats theory. My guess is you haven't even been to London.

Re: That's not going to make (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383875)

Suspect you have never been to London, and possibly haven't used Google. Try it. It doesn't work. Race an average guy with satnav against a cabbie without, cabbie still wins. And Google is wrong about about my journey daily (I am not a cabbie).

Re: That's not going to make (1)

Avoiderman (82105) | about 2 months ago | (#47384171)

Google doesn't know anything. I've met her .... Being serious you totally lost credibility when you started anthropomorphising a network of computers. Be scientific, the test has been done repeatedly between satnavs and trained cabbies - cabbies still win.

Re:That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382569)

Every cab I've been in in the past couple of years has used GPS to find the destination.

Re:That's not going to make (1)

shilly (142940) | about 2 months ago | (#47382881)

Where on *earth* have you been going? Every cab I've been in has had a smartphone / satnav in it, but it's only used for obscure journeys.

Re: That's not going to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383507)

And cue the rise in rape stats in London. And further court cases. Why should the London cabs be held to higher standards, only to be undercut in this way. You appear to have missed the lesson of why we started regulation for London cabs.

Cabs (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47382073)

I avoid using cabs, despite the fact that two of my family members drive them for a living.

Sorry, they are expensive, inflexible and provide little advantage in somewhere like London. When you do need them (Tube strikes, etc.,) they are impossible to use.

I've spent an evening walking home from the theatre with a lady with severe knee problems trying to hail a cab. We'd had to help them them to the underground station before we found one that would stop (even when they were showing as available). We were sober, well-dressed, just stepped out of the Royal Albert Hall, had a lady in obvious pain on our shoulders, had waited 20 mins to avoid walking / crowds and in the end made it to our destination before we could hail one.

The last time a train of mine was cancelled, I was on my way to a filming of a TV show in the afternoon. I came out of the train station 30 mins after I should have been on a train further into London, and there were four cabs waiting. All refused to take two people deeper into London because "they'd have to drive back" - it was the middle of the afternoon, so it wasn't like they wanted to get home. In the end, we ran home, got in our car, drove to the place and got there just in the nick of time.

I just don't see the cab in the future of a city like London. We're famously rude as a nation, and cabbies are probably among the worst. They are only there for gullible tourists, from what I see. Sure, there will be exceptions, but the fact is that I've avoided cabs for 15 years and when forced to use them, haven't been able to.

Last time I used one was when my boss was paying for me to come to a meeting with him and we went about 800 yards in one. I'm just glad I wasn't the one paying, and if I remember, we walked back.

There is a distinction between "Hackney Carriage" and just a private mini-cab in terms of service - the mini-cab will generally turn up when you book them and will know where they are going to and not refuse it. But London taxis? Forget it. All this is is confirmation that some guy who wants the job tries harder to help you than someone who has a protected living and specialist privileges.

Re: Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382269)

Sounds like somebody failed the knowledge

Re:Cabs (2)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382391)

Well, to counter your story I've used black cabs on numerous occasions, and had great experiences. They were courteous, fast, knew the routes like they were channelling the gods of the A-Z, and were reasonably priced. So I guess we cancel each other out. Not to forget their cars are specifically designed for London's streets, and can fit 5 people in the back with ease.

Re:Cabs (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47382457)

Not to forget their cars are specifically designed for London's streets

In that they have four wheels and a decent turning radius?

and can fit 5 people in the back with ease.

Are you sure? Brits are getting fatter with alarming alacrity.

Re:Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382591)

Not to forget their cars are specifically designed for London's streets

In that they have four wheels and a decent turning radius?

and can fit 5 people in the back with ease.

Are you sure? Brits are getting fatter with alarming alacrity.

You have clearly never used a black cab. Yes - they do fit five people in the back with ease because they have been designed to do so. Their turning circle is also smaller than equivalent sized cars.

Re:Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382593)

And can handle wheel chairs. Do Uber vehicles cater for the disabled?

Re:Cabs (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47382745)

They have a ridiculously small turning circle, surprising acceleration, and a roomy, disabled-accessible interior.

Your comment about fat people is absolutely pointless, as you well know, and doesn't exactly reflect well on you.

Re:Cabs (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47383059)

Your comment about fat people is absolutely pointless, as you well know, and doesn't exactly reflect well on you.

Ah yes, it's cute when people say it about Americans, but it's offensive when Americans say it about other people. Be still, my whining violin.

Re: Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383545)

What is offensive is that you appear to think you know better about this story than a Londoner. Gtfo

Re:Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47382469)

I agree, I usually move by fooot or Tube/Bus when visiting London but when going to/from the hotel I have taken a black Cab on a few occations and it has always been a pleasant experience. And while expensive compared to walking/tube still reasonable if you are more than two people.

Re:Cabs (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 2 months ago | (#47382973)

If any refuse you again then take their number and report them. They are obliged by their licence to take you anywhere less than 12 miles if they stop for you.

Re:Cabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383273)

Cabs won't stop for youYou must be black.

So another company.. (1)

FRAKK2 (166082) | about 2 months ago | (#47382517)

Operating in the UK yet avoiding paying TAX here!

eo4? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383073)

Open 4latfo8m, As it is licensed

Can someone please explain... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47383271)

...how in the case where two groups of people doing essentially the same job are subject to entirely different rules and regulations is "a victory for common sense" ?

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