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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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Uber’s Vision of Self-Driving Cars Begins to Blur

SAN FRANCISCO — After Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s chief executive last August, he considered shutting the company’s money-losing autonomous vehicle division. A visit to Pittsburgh this spring changed that.In town for a leadership summit, Mr. Khosrowshahi and other Uber executives were briefed on the state of the company’s self-driving vehicle research, which is based in Pittsburgh. The group was impressed by the progress its autonomous division had made in testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh and in Arizona, according to three people familiar with the ride-hailing company, who were not authorized to speak publicly. They left the meeting energized, convinced that Uber needed to forge ahead…

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Uber’s Losses Continue in Its March Toward an I.P.O.

Just over a year after Travis Kalanick was ousted as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing company released new financial results that showed continued growth and narrowing losses as it advances toward an initial public offering.On Wednesday, Uber posted a loss of $891 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of more than $1 billion during the same period a year earlier. The company took in $12.01 billion in gross bookings in the quarter — or the amount of passenger fares and food delivery fees — up 41 percent from a year ago. After paying out fees to drivers, revenue was $2.7 billion. When Uber…

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Uber Picks N.S.A. Veteran to Fix Troubled Security Team

Last November, Uber’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, penned an apologetic note to riders and drivers explaining that hackers had obtained 57 million personal records from the ride-hailing company — and rather than disclosing the breach immediately, the company had paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet.Mr. Khosrowshahi, who said the breach and payouts happened before he arrived, fired Uber’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, for his handling of the matter.On Tuesday, Uber announced that they had found Mr. Sullivan’s replacement: Matt Olsen, the former general counsel of the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Mr. Olsen was most recently the president and…

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What’s the Right Number of Taxis (or Uber or Lyft Cars) in a City?

When Uber and Lyft first entered the market, offering a ride-hailing service that would come to include tens of thousands of amateur drivers, most major American cities had been tightly controlling the competition. New York City allowed exactly 13,637 licenses for taxicabs. Chicago permitted 6,904, Boston 1,825 and Philadelphia 1,600.These numbers weren’t entirely arbitrary. Cities had spent decades trying to set numbers that would keep drivers and passengers satisfied and streets safe. But the exercise was always a fraught one. And New York City now faces an even more complex version of it, after the passage of legislation this week that will temporarily cap services like Uber…

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Riders Wonder: With Uber as New York’s Plan B, Is There a Plan C?

[Read more about the vote to cap the growth of ride-hail vehicles.]The cap was supported by many transportation advocates who say the ride-hail cars have contributed to worsening traffic in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, and by taxi drivers whose financial plight has become precarious in the past year, underscored by a spate of suicides. Bruce Schaller, a transportation consultant who has studied the ride-hail services, said that it was only a matter of time before city officials took action. Since Uber successfully fended off Mr. de Blasio’s efforts to impose a limit three years ago, the number of for-hire vehicles in the city has soared from about…

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Uber Hit With Cap as New York City Takes Lead in Crackdown

Even as Uber has become one of Silicon Valley’s biggest success stories and changed the way people across the globe get around, the company has faced increased scrutiny from government regulators. It has also struggled to overcome its image as a company determined to grow at all costs with little regard for its impact on cities.On Wednesday, the tech giant was dealt a major setback in its largest American market after the New York City Council voted to cap Uber vehicles and other ride-hail services, providing a model for other cities that are trying find ways to rein in the company.The City Council approved a package of…

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