Science

Uber's drivers are guinea pigs for its experiments

07 Apr 2017 | By Anish Chakraborty
Uber's hook, line and sinker to dupe drivers

Uber after recent fiasco has repeatedly said it is trying to change.

Usually, change is expected for the better, but it appears with the help of hundreds of social and data scientists, Uber effectively used baits and intangible rewards to make the drivers work extra hours and in unfavourable locations.

A Ponzi scheme at its core, here is how Uber is duping its drivers.

In context: Uber's hook, line and sinker to dupe drivers

07 Apr 2017Uber's drivers are guinea pigs for its experiments

HookedUber's so called nudge in the "right" direction

When we binge watch a TV series or spend countless hours on clearing a video game level, what we don't realize is that there are actually subliminal techniques at work that make us linger a little bit more. In layman's term, they have us "hooked".

But it's not always fun when a ride-hailing aggregator decides to implement the same on its employees.

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Here's what's nextBinge watching techniques applied to coerced driving

We often end up watching another YouTube video or one more episode on Netflix because just as we finish one, it ends up showing us other similar interests.

When the same is applied by Uber, it results in drivers getting details of their next fare opportunities, even before their current ride is over, putting them on a wild goose opportunity all the time.

Lady troubleA push in the intended direction

Drivers tend to prefer the surge-pricing, as it means earning a few extra bucks.

Uber through its notifications keeps on nudging its drivers to follow a certain trajectory so that they can balance out.

While it may seem like an apt thing to do, it should be pointed that it does so by faking a female persona which iis effective with its predominantly male-workforce.

False gloryVirtual accolades with no real significance

When encouragement doesn't signify anything tangible, you have got a problem.

Uber employs encouragement tactics that end up giving its drivers make-believe achievement badges to boost their ego and a bait technique which implies, this present laurel is fine, but if you do a little more we will give you another.

It goes without saying that several drivers fall for the trick.

Pressing concernRecent events plaguing the ride-hailing giant

Jeff Jones hired as the president of Ride Sharing, seven months ago, left Uber recently marking another top level exit from the firm.

Erstwhile Uber engineer Susan Fowler has put forward sexual allegation charges against the firm.

Uber was caught using a software called "Greyball", which enabled its drivers to evade police-authorities.

There have been several complaints regarding the hiked payment structure among drivers.

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Mending waysEmpty words said without any intention of following them

Uber CEO was recently caught in an altercation with a driver of his own cab-hailing platform.

Travis Kalanick might have apologized for his behaviour but in the recent light of these events, it appears it is just empty words and things are going to get worse.

A firm that relies on duping its employees rather than transparency says a lot about itself through actions.