Nov 21, 2019

Uber is testing ad displays for its cars

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some Uber drivers have independently been putting ad displays on top of their cars, but now the ride-hailing company has teamed with startup Cargo for a small test of officially deploying ads to drivers in Atlanta.

Why it matters: This could be a new revenue source for Uber, which has been under heavy pressure to move towards profitability.

The details: Drivers who put the ads on their cars can make $40 for their first 20 hours of driving each week, with an extra $10 for every five additional hours, with a maximum of $150 per week. There's a $150 security deposit as well.

  • The displays are provided by Cargo, a New York-based startup and existing partner best known for its boxes of snacks and other items that ride-hailing drivers can sell to passengers for extra cash.
  • Like the snack boxes, the ad deal can help drivers make more money and offset some of their frustration with declining earnings.
  • "This is a very limited pilot, which we would look to expand only if successful," an Uber spokesperson told Axios.  

The intrigue: As part of Uber’s partnership with Cargo for these car tops, Uber, as well as Cargo, will get a cut of the advertising revenue, Axios has learned.

Go deeper

Uber struggles with 'open secret' of shared driver accounts

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Since London decided to revoke Uber's operating license, the city's transportation regulator found that 14,000 rides in late 2018 and early 2019 were completed by unverified drivers who had "rented" a real driver's account, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Uber says shared driver accounts are a global problem, including in the U.S. An Uber spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal the company has adjusted its policies in London to combat the issue, but it still not a "silver bullet."

Go deeperArrowNov 28, 2019

London declines to renew Uber's operating license

Photo: Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

London's transportation agency declined Monday to renew Uber's license to operate, citing a "pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk."

Why it matters: London is one of Uber's biggest markets, so this is a significant blow to the company.

Uber commentArrowNov 25, 2019

20 women sue Lyft over sexual assault allegations

A car with Uber and Lyft stickers in March 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Twenty women have joined a California lawsuit accusing Lyft of failing to take action on a "sexual predator crisis" that the company has allegedly known about for four years, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Lyft and Uber have both come under fire over allegations of drivers harming their passengers. CNN found in 2018 that 31 drivers for Uber had been "convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape."

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019