Uber has progressed immensely since it was created just over ten years ago. Designed as a rideshare system to beat out the current transportation mechanisms, Uber certainly succeeded from its reduction in price, faster speed, and general efficiency for millions of individuals to get from place to place, whether the distance be small or far.
The initial direction of my research consisted of Uber driver’s experiences and their relationship with the company. I was immediately more invested in the drivers rather than the riders due to the recent strikes that have developed across the US regarding improper payment and treatment among Uber drivers. Although each location has a variation in wages, almost all areas are looking to make a change in payment for drivers, and with this comes the debate of whether or not they are actually apart of the company. Uber has argued over the past few years that the drivers who participate in the app are actually a third party transportation system and don’t have any relationship with Uber, which ought to be a false advertisement. Furthermore, when damage is done or mistakes are made, the drivers reach out to the Uber company itself for support, rather than a third party that observes as their higher authority. Therefore, what needs to change is the relationship between the company and the drivers in order to build a stronger and more successful transportation system on all sides.
However, another struggle which the company comes across is the need for the proper amount of employees. With such immediate success, the company’s growth skyrocketed and became desperate for a large amount of employees to help cover the overwhelming amount of work and development that needed to be done. Despite such a great increase in employment, the company was unable to form loyal connections with its customers and between fellow employees, ultimately hurting their efficient network and lacking professionalism because they had too many employees to keep track of.
Like I said before, the drivers themselves, both full and part time, have never been considered as Uber’s employees, according to the company. In fact, it is referred to as a gig economy, where its a short term market that allows two different parties to collaborate at their greatest convenience. However, those drivers have to provide raw materials in order to make their experience as a driver better than their competition. For example, some drivers will shadow their riders with gifts and music, while others will not say a word and leave their rider at peace unless they ask for something. Ultimately, Uber has created logistics and rules for drivers to follow in order to make the Uber experience satisfying for all those involved, but it certainly is unclear whether or not Uber wants to claim responsibility for the drivers. It seems as if they only want to be associated with another party if it is beneficial to the company’s image. If something negative comes up, then I find that Uber would quickly drop any notice of association.