Data & Society > our work > press coverage > Uber denies there are ‘phantom’ cars in its app

Fortune | 07.30.15

Uber denies there are ‘phantom’ cars in its app

Alex Rosenblat, Luke Stark

D&S researcher Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark’s research in Uber’s algorithm-based map for consumers was cited in this article by Fortune.

In a Vice article, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark, who are researchers from the Data & Society think tank, said an Uber representative told a passenger that the app is “simply showing that there are partners on the road at the time.”

“This is not a representation of the exact numbers of drivers or their location,” the representative continued, according to the article. “This is more of a visual effect, letting people know that partners are searching for fares. I know this seems a misleading to you but it is meant as more of a visual effect more than an accurate location of drivers in the area. It would be better of you to think of this as a screen saver on a computer.”

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