It’s simple. You download the app, see whether your choice of car is available in the area, and then request it to drive you to your destination. That’s the beauty of Uber, a platform that connects passengers to drivers with a simple few taps. Based in
This summer, taxi drivers took it upon themselves to voice their discontent, turning on Uber cars and drivers, and in some cases, creating hostage-like situations. In the aftermath, the French government charged two top Uber executives on charges of helping unlicensed taxis cheat regulations and Uber decided to suspend services.
This summer also saw
While Uber faces legal challenges across the world, there is considerable support for the company and what it offers. In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, 55 per cent of interviewed Hongkongers called for the government to legalise Uber.
Uber claims that it has an open attitude to communicating with local governments to work around existing laws, but it often acts boldly, entering new markets before it attempts to talk to the local government. In the event of a legal battle, Uber then points to its strong support network, and fights against these very laws. More often than not, the victims of these legal clashes are the drivers.
But governments are not entirely blameless. As startups find demands within society that have yet to be met and start filling in these gaps, governments around the world need to find a way to integrate these new services and ideas into societies.
There must be channels of communication where both the government and companies are clear about what they are setting out to achieve. As our world becomes more technology-orientated, these early problems need to be addressed and used as examples for future ones.