Uber registrations jump 850 percent in London, as cabbie protests cripple traffic

uber registrations jump 850 percent london cabbie protests cripple traffic black cab
Photo via Flickr/James Barrett

The demonstrations staged by London cab drivers against ride-sharing app Uber appear to have backfired. The company announced that sign-ups for its ride-sharing service increased by 850 percent, as taxi driver protests caused a massive traffic jam in the city’s center. 

“ …Today we’re seeing an 850 percent increase in sign-ups compared to last Wednesday (June 4). The results are clear: London wants Uber in a big way,” Jo Bertram, Uber’s UK and Ireland general manager told the Independent

Yesterday, taxi drivers caused gridlock around the tourist attraction Trafalgar Square. The protesters were calling on Transport for London (TfL), the agency tasked with managing the city’s public transport network, to regulate Uber’s hiring of drivers. The demonstrators also complained over the use of the Uber app as a meter for determining the cost of rides. In London, only black cabs (the boxy cars that are the English equivalent of New York taxi cabs) are legally allowed to use meters. 

To appease protesters, Uber has offered black cab drivers inclusion in their service. According to Wired UK, the company launched UberTAXI, which bundles black cab drivers into the service’s network of minicab and freelance chauffeurs. Previously, vehicles with TfL certification, such as black cabs, were excluded from the company’s booking directory.

“We recognize the unique heritage and value of traditional black cabs when it comes to getting around,” Bertram said. “UberTAXI is another way of using technology to offer more choice, making life simpler and keeping London moving.”  

The protest in London happened in conjunction with demonstrations in other major European cities. Similar protests were organized in Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Milan, and Lisbon.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.