Chicago, Washington D.C. working on Uber competitors

chicago washington d c working uber competitors taxi door open
The current state of cab-calling apps and services isn’t particularly clear for consumers right now, with the likes of Uber and Lyft fighting for attention and experiencing growing pains, but a couple of major U.S. cities are taking matters into their own hands. Both Chicago and Washington D.C. have announced plans to develop smartphone apps to tap into the existing taxi network within their respective cities.

Up until now, authorities have often been dealing with anti-Uber sentiment by simply banning the app altogether. Established cab drivers have been protesting against the new wave of apps all across the world, but there’s no denying the consumer demand for a simple, cash-free, app-based way of hailing a ride and getting home. In the end, we may see the likes of Uber and Lyft taking on officially sanctioned alternatives for a slice of market share.

Chicago’s upcoming smartphone app will work very much like the independent alternatives, giving the city’s 7,000 cab drivers the ability to tap into a wider network of customers from across the local area. As SlashGear reports, fees and costs for drivers are set to be reduced at the same time, and drivers are going to be given a cut of the advertising revenue from their cars. Credit card fees will be reduced as well as part of a selection of benefits announced by the city.

The story is very much the same in D.C., as outlined by the Verge. The Universal DC TaxiApp will go into beta tesing in March and could be rolled out fully by late spring — again the aim is to give the 7,000 licensed taxis in the city the chance to pick up fares from a broader geographical area. Apps like Uber and Lyft would not be banned, but there will be an official alternative.

“This is not targeting Uber per se,” D.C. Taxi Commission spokesman Neville Waters told the AFP news agency. “This is a result of what consumers have been demanding — and it enables taxis to compete on a level playing field with other private operators. We are the first in the country to have a universal taxi cab app.”

Mobile

Verizon reveals 20 new cities that will get its 5G network in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it has also begun deploying mobile 5G. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network, including when it will be in your town.
Smart Home

Postmates expands to 1,000 more cities to take on DoorDash and Uber Eats

Postmates has expanded its on-demand delivery service to 1,000 additional U.S. cities, taking the total number served to more than 3,500 across all 50 states and putting it within reach of 70% of households.
Outdoors

Lyft is offering free bikeshare rides to highlight Earth Day

To highlight Earth Day and promote its own green efforts, Lyft is offering free rides with its bikeshare programs in six cities across the U.S. on April 22. Anyone interested should check the service's website for full details.
Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Mobile

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Wearables

Before buying a Fitbit, check out these Garmin fitness trackers under $100

The Apple Watch is a great fitness tracker, but it's not cheap. Thankfully, there are plenty of fitness trackers under $100, and they offer many of the same features. Here are the best fitness trackers under $100.
Health & Fitness

Google’s redesigned Fit activity tracker is now an iOS app

Google Fit has landed for iOS. The activity tracker offers the same clean design that arrived with the major revamp of the Android version a year ago, with features such as Move Minutes and Heart Points also included.
Mobile

Stunning photo shows Honor 20 will get the full Moschino designer treatment

Honor will launch the Honor 20 on May 21, at an event taking place in London. A special Moschino version will also be revealed, potentially with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.
Mobile

Leak says Huawei will supply 5G equipment to the U.K., but with a caveat

A leak from the U.K.'s National Security Council says Huawei has been approved to supply certain 5G infrastructure equipment, but not the core components related to secure aspects of the network.
Mobile

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.
Mobile

Google Assistant for Android and iOS wants to tell you a story

Just in time for National Tell a Story Day on April 27, Google has added the ability for Google Assistant for iOS and Android to read you a story. So now there's no excuse for not catching up with a good book.
Android

Here's how much it will cost to buy the Galaxy S10 5G, and when it releases

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it will be the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.
Mobile

Bothering the bots: Funny questions and commands to pose to Google Assistant

Communicating with Google Assistant can be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of fun questions and commands to add a little entertainment to your oft-rigid conversation. Here are some of our favorites.