Uber’s ride-sharing service banned in Berlin on passenger safety grounds

” id=”attachment_644713″]uber ride sharing service banned in berlin
”[Image
City officials in Berlin have banned mobile ride-sharing app Uber on the grounds of passenger safety.

In a statement issued by the German capital’s local government on Thursday, officials explained that as Uber cars aren’t traditional taxis, passengers using the service may not be covered by insurance.

Officials said if Uber failed to comply with its order, they’d hit the startup with a 25,000-euro ($33,400) fine. The ruling follows another ban imposed by officials in neighboring Belgium in April.

“The decision from the Berlin authorities…is seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons.”

The on-demand car service, which currently operates in more than 100 cities globally, has been offering rides to the citizens of Berlin – a city considered a fast-growing hub for European startups – since January last year.

Fabien Nestmann of Uber Germany said his company plans to challenge the decision and “fully expected” that “Berlin will follow the Hamburg authorities’ lead and overturn the prohibition order.”

He added, “The decision from the Berlin authorities is not progressive and it’s seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons. As a new entrant we’re bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn’t changed in years. Competition is good for everyone because it raises the bar and ultimately it’s the consumer who wins.”

Nestmann said Uber wanted to play its part “in building smart cities of the future where innovative urban transport solutions such as Uber will be an integral part of the transport mix.”

Related: Cab drivers in Europe protest against Uber

App- and web-based startups like Uber, which challenge traditional models of service delivery, are causing authorities and competing businesses around the world to carefully consider how they handle such services.

Uber rival Lyft recently ran into trouble with New York City officials, while room-rental service Airbnb has also faced criticism from a number of hoteliers and apartment owners.

Another car-related app, MonkeyParking, recently ended operations in San Francisco following a cease-and-desist order from the City Attorney’s office, while Uber itself has faced protests from traditional cab firms in many countries, including a Europe-wide demonstration by taxi drivers in June.

[Source: Berlin.de / BBC]

Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
Cars

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 -- will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

LG G7 owners experiencing dreaded bootloop will have to wait a few days for fix

If you’ve picked up LG’s flagship and it’s not behaving itself, then you might find a solution here. We’ve rounded up the most common LG G7 ThinQ problems and tracked down workarounds and possible fixes.
Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.