Uber's apps might be lying to you!

30 July 2015

uber taxi Uber users - you've seen those little cars that drive around the map on your mobile app? Aren't they great? Letting you know how close your taxi is?

WELL THINK AGAIN. That's because - and this will be a massive shock to your system - they might not be accurately placed on said map!

While you assumed that was the case, researchers from Data & Society still wanted to publish their findings and show the world that, indeed, the cars aren't accurately placed on your maps, but the arrival times for your Uber cabs are pretty accurate.

Amazing work there. That said, the map does seem to invent some cars out of thin-air.

Employees of think-tank Data & Society wrote: "The presence of those virtual cars on the passenger’s screen does not necessarily reflect an accurate number of drivers who are physically present or their precise locations."

"Instead, these phantom cars are part of a 'visual effect' that Uber uses to emphasise the proximity of drivers to passengers. Not surprisingly, the visual effect shows cars nearby, even when they might not actually exist."

A spokesperson for Uber said: "This is simply not true. The cars you see in the app are the cars on the road."

So who is telling the truth and, more importantly, do you care? Well, Alex Rosenblat, a New York-based data researcher who studied how Uber drivers interact with the app, says 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."

"What the passenger app shows can be deceptive," wrote Rosenblat, who found that Uber drivers "across multiple forums discuss the fake cars they see on their own residential streets".

TOPICS:   Mobile

1 comment

  • Kevin
    Do you get an Uber driver quickly? If so they were obviously nearby.

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