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Could Uber End 'Surge' Pricing?

Anyone who has used Uber knows the dreaded surge. But before the self-driving cars take over the wheel at transportation network companies, will the machines also figure out a way to eliminate one of the key perks of being an Uber driver?
May 11, 2016, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Aarti Shahani reports on plans at Uber to end "surge pricing"—that feature of the transportation network company's model that drives prices higher when demand for the service is higher than the supply of drivers. Shahani defines the stakes for the decision: "The move likely will be great for riders, but not for drivers."

While drivers see surge as a key feature of the job — and Uber advertises it as such to them — inside the company surge pricing is considered a market failure, a problem to be solved.

Shahani interviews Jeff Schneider, engineering lead at Uber Advanced Technologies Center, for the story, to learn more about the efforts of Uber to "solve" the problem. The key, according to Schneider, will be to develop an algorithm that anticipates the times when surge pricing goes into effect.

The article has produced a tech-variety fallout. Separate articles in MarketWatch and TechCrunch have questioned the accuracy of the article. Shahani's article includes an addendum verifying the source on the report.

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Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 in MPR News
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