Jul 30 2015   2:53PM GMT

Ghost cars plague Uber app users, claim researchers

Caroline Donnelly Profile: Caroline Donnelly


In Downtime’s experience, Uber users tend to be a smug bunch, who love boring on about how much cheaper their cab journeys home have become since downloading the taxi-booking app.

No longer do they have to deal with the indignity of having to run for the last train home or using the night bus like some kind of loser, because they there’s always a cab somewhere waiting for them. Or so they think.

New research, funded by Microsoft Fuse Labs, claims when users log into the app, it’s not uncommon for them to be told there are several or more Uber drivers in the vicinity even if there isn’t.

The so-called “ghost cars” are used as a “visual effect” to assure users there are drivers out there looking for fares, explained Uber, rather than relied on to provide “accurate location” details.

“It would be better of you to think of this as a screen saver on a computer,” they added. Well, that clears that up then, doesn’t it?

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