By Joyce Deuley
Despite issues with the French police raiding Uber’s Paris offices, along with Germany’s decision to ban the company’s online private driver/passenger connection service, UberPop, the company remains determined to maintain global operations. The ban in Germany is the second round of legislative roadblocks for Uber in the past nine months. The company has already promised to appeal.
Uber is no stranger to controversy. Since it’s inception in 2009, it has weathered both safety and legislative challenges spurred by heated competition amongst rival taxi services (the driver behind this morning’s raid). Most notable would be the situation in Delhi, where it’s reported that a woman was raped by an unlicensed Uber driver in December of 2014, bringing up concerns across the board for the 55 countries in which the company currently operates.
That said, Uber’s determination to disrupt the transportation marketplace is apparent. The company is currently valued at $4 billion and has gained an additional $1.6 billion in funding, allowing it to comfortably weather the onslaught of legislative and liability cases lobbed at it.
While security and safety of passengers should be of the upmost importance, the convenience of Uber services and competitive rates tend to overshadow the dangers. It seems that whatever the personal risk, customers are adamant about finding flexible, cost-effective modes of transportation. Uber, coincidentally is making it even easier for passengers, as it has released a new API that will cooperate with other application providers, and will continue to innovate through Uber’s sponsored hackathon. By utilizing Uber-friendly applications, passengers can enjoy the complete Uber Experience.
Though Uber has yet to perfect its current business model, which is fraught with challenges and roadblocks, no one can deny that companies like Uber are paving the way for innovations in a previously flat market.