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Uber’s Driverless Cars Return to the Road After Fatal Crash

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber said its autonomous vehicles returned to public roads on Thursday, nine months after one of its self-driving cars killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz.But Uber’s driverless vehicles are operating at drastically reduced speeds and in less challenging environments than before, the company said, as it eases back into testing and tries to ensure people’s safety.“We will continue to prioritize safety and proactively communicate our progress until we’ve built a self-driving system that lives up to the promise of making transportation safer and more affordable for everyone,” Eric Meyhofer, who leads Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit, said in a statement.Uber said it received permission on…

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Tech Fix: Yes, You Can Be an Ethical Tech Consumer. Here’s How.

ImageCreditGlenn HarveyIt has never felt worse to be a technology consumer. So what can you do about it?That’s the question of the year after many of the biggest tech companies were mired in scandal after scandal or exposed as having committed necessary evils to offer the products and services that we have so blissfully enjoyed.Those instant Amazon deliveries? They sure are convenient, but Amazon warehouse workers in Europe protested the company during Black Friday, describing their working conditions as inhuman.You might have considered deleting Facebook after the social network confessed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had improperly obtained the data of millions of users. If…

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With the Economy Uncertain, Tech ‘Unicorns’ Rush Toward I.P.O.

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Uber and Lyft put off going public. Now, they are speeding up.Faced with a volatile stock market and the prospect of an economic downturn next year, the ride-hailing services have moved more urgently toward an initial public offering, said four people with knowledge of the companies’ plans, who were not authorized to speak publicly.Lyft originally aimed to list its shares toward the middle of 2019, but it began moving more quickly after the recent stock market sell-off and because of a desire to go public before Uber, said two of the people. On Thursday, the company, which was most recently valued at…

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Lyft, Racing Uber Toward I.P.O., Takes a Crucial Step

The ride-hailing company Lyft said on Thursday that it had taken a key step toward an initial public offering, confidentially filing a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.The move sets the stage for a busy year of technology initial public offerings in 2019, as privately held companies known as “unicorns” because of their high growth and valuations get ready to debut on Wall Street.Uber, the biggest ride-hailing company in the world, is also planning to go public next year and has received proposals from investment banks that say it could be worth as much as $120 billion. The expected wave of tech public offerings…

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Needing Growth, Uber Returns to Germany. This Time on Best Behavior.

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — Guido Goebel stopped driving for Uber three years ago when the company abandoned his hometown, the German city of Düsseldorf, after a battle with regulators.Several weeks ago, the ride-hailing service reached out to him again. Uber told Mr. Goebel that it was returning to Düsseldorf and offered him a bonus of 500 euros, or about $560, if he hit certain driving targets.“It’s good. I’m busy,” Mr. Goebel, who had taken work driving patients to medical appointments, said from behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. “People are happy Uber is here.”Düsseldorf is the start of an effort by Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, to…

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Uber’s Losses Continue Ahead of Initial Public Offering

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber is still working to stem its losses ahead of going public next year.The ride-hailing company said on Wednesday that it lost $1.07 billion in the third quarter, more than in the prior period and slightly less than in the same period a year ago, as it has invested heavily outside of its core business in areas such as bicycles, scooters and freight shipments.At the same time, Uber’s growth appears to be slowing. The company’s revenue rose 38 percent in the third quarter from a year ago to $2.95 billion, down from a gain of 51 percent in the prior quarter. Gross bookings, which…

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Tech We’re Using: Windows on How Cities Change Can Be All Too Captivating

AdvertisementTech We’re UsingTechnology is crowding curbs with ride hailers and keeping homeowners fixated on housing values. Here are the tools that Emily Badger, a writer for The Upshot, uses to analyze the ripple effects. ImageEmily Badger, a reporter for The Upshot in Washington, likes Google Street View’s time-lapse feature, which can show a neighborhood’s transformation since 2007.CreditCreditTing Shen for The New York TimesSept. 19, 2018How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Emily Badger, who writes about cities and urban policy for The Upshot in Washington, discussed the tech she’s using.Q. As a writer for The Upshot, you do…

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The New New World: Customers Died. Will That Be a Wake-Up Call for China’s Tech Scene?

Huang Jieli, who ran a Chinese ride-sharing business called Hitch, was invited to a wedding in March. One of her drivers was getting married to a woman who had once been his passenger. Thanks, the invitation said, for getting them hitched.Didi Chuxing, Hitch’s corporate parent and one of the world’s most successful and valuable start-ups, once cheered these stories of young love. Like so many other Chinese internet companies, Didi explored all kinds of ways to bring in new users, including social networking.So through suggestive ads hinting at hookups through driving, Didi pushed Hitch’s romantic possibilities. In a 2015 interview with the Chinese online portal NetEase, Ms.…

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In a Shift in Driverless Strategy, Uber Deepens Its Partnership With Toyota

SAN FRANCISCO — Since Uber started a self-driving car program in 2015, it has insisted on developing its own driverless technology and operating its own fleet of autonomous vehicles.Now the ride-hailing company is starting to shift away from that own-it-all strategy.Uber is receiving a new $500 million investment from Toyota, which would value the company at $72 billion, according to a person briefed on the deal, who was not authorized to speak publicly. With that investment, Uber plans to provide its self-driving technology to a fleet of Toyota minivans, which may be operated by the Japanese automaker or a third party, the companies said in a joint…

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Uber Appoints New Head of Finance as It Marches Toward an I.P.O.

SAN FRANCISCO — After a yearslong search, Uber has finally found a chief financial officer as it advances toward an initial public offering.The ride-hailing company said Tuesday that it had hired Nelson J. Chai, 53, a former executive at Merrill Lynch and CIT Group, to be its new chief financial officer. The appointment fills a prominent void in Uber’s executive suite: The job had been vacant since Brent Callinicos departed in 2015.Picking a chief financial officer is crucial for Uber because the company has said it plans to go public by the end of 2019, in what is likely to be one of the biggest-ever technology I.P.O.s.…

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