By Muris Basic

    Uber Technologies is an American international transportation company which operates in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. It is also banned in few countries around the world; Brazil, China, India, Germany and France.

    If you hadn’t heard, the company developed a smartphone app that allows users to submit trip requests which is then routed to a driver using his own car. Uber and the taxi industry have been at odds, with taxi drivers recently protesting at Parliament house.

    So what is Uber?

    It’s an on-demand car service that allows you to request private drivers through applications for iPhone and Android devices. The service utilises dispatch software to send the nearest driver to your location. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of shared ride or cab service – Uber will send you a private taxi-style car. The service provides a cashless solution that charges your ride directly to the credit card on file with your account. I will walk you through the process of using Uber to request a car.

    How safe is Uber?

    Background checks and screening of drivers and their cars are processed by state and federal governments. Uber also reviews drivers and motor vehicles records throughout their time driving with Uber. The company is ‘committed to safely connecting riders and drivers’, and as soon as you enter a Uber cab you are covered by end to end insurance coverage. Another great feature Uber uses is a cashless transactions system to protect you from risk – everything is paid online.

    Why is Uber controversial?

    Basically because it disrupts the taxi and private hire industries, which had been left untouched by the internet. The requirements to be a taxi driver are exhaustive and expensive – you have to be fully licensed and qualified, you must pay for a licence, and you have to complete knowledge training of every street in the city of Melbourne, so that you can always find your way from A to B regardless of where those places are. Other controversies in several cases involve Uber drivers being accused of behaving badly, and also assaulting passengers.

    To counter Uber, the Australia Taxi companies  was set to introduce a new mobile app that would have linked the 4 main taxi companies into one booking app. The app was rejected by the ACCC  stating that it would impact on competition in the taxi industry.

    The 10 steps to using Uber:

    1. Sign up for uber visit website or use mobile application (
    2. Click the Sign Up Link. You will be asked to create an account. Uber will need your name, mobile number, email, language, and billing information. You need a valid credit card or PayPal account to use the Uber service.
    3. Read the terms and conditions and accept or decline.
    4. If you accepted the Terms and Conditions click the Sign up button your account will be created and a confirmation email will be sent to your email. You are ready to start using Uber.
    5. Getting a driver? Download the app on your iphone (apple store) or your android device(google play) and Blackberry app and Windows phone.
    6. Run the app and register, using a login and password. Then Sign in to the Uber app using your registration details.
    7. Choose your vehicle type – there are about 5 types of vehicles services for Uber depending on what city you live in.
    8. Mark your pickup location, you can also manually type your pickup location. once set click on set pickup location button.
    9. Wait in front of your exact street address that you designated for pickup, you will also be given a estimated time of arrival of the Uber.
    10. Knowing the rates, check on website for details on fee charged.

    For businesses like Uber and other smart start-ups, they provide new opportunities for people prepared to gamble on technology, and run the gauntlet of traditional industries, government and regulators.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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