Weekly Round-Up: Uber to Offer Autonomous Rides in Phoenix Soon + More

Is Lyft ready to sell? Are there any buyers? This is one topic on the minds of several this week. We’ve also got Uber and Waymo pairing up to make autonomous rides readily available starting in Phoenix, a new ridesharing app called Black Wolf, and more in our weekly round-up.

Uber Will Offer Waymo Robotaxi Rides and Deliveries in Phoenix Starting Later This Year


Beginning later this year, Phoenix area residents and visitors will be able to hail Waymo taxis through Uber, thanks to a new “multi-year” partnership the two companies announced on Tuesday.

The pact will see a “set number” of Waymo vehicles made available to Uber users for rides and deliveries. The announcement comes after Waymo recently doubled its Phoenix service area to 180 square miles.

Waymo spokesperson Katherine Barna told The Verge the robotaxis the company is making available to Uber users wouldn’t be exclusive to the platform. Phoenix residents can continue to turn to the Waymo One if they want an autonomous ride somewhere.

“We’re excited to offer another way for people to experience the enjoyable and life-saving benefits of full autonomy,” said Waymo co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana. “Uber has long been a leader in human-operated ridesharing, and the pairing of our pioneering technology and all-electric fleet with their customer network provides Waymo with an opportunity to reach even more people.”…

My Take

We take this very seriously. This is the first real introduction of autonomous vehicles on the Uber app, something they have been promising for years to their investors.

Granted, it’s only going to be available in one market: Phoenix. However, that market is one that Waymo has been using to test their abilities for a couple of years now.

It’s pretty safe to assume that there’ll be bumps along the way, but chances are Waymo wouldn’t agree to this if they didn’t think they could live up to the hype. Waymo driverless vehicles have been picking up people at the Phoenix airport since November 2022. So, less than a year later, they are partnering with Uber to pump up their abilities.

DoorDash hit with $1B lawsuit for allegedly charging iPhone users more than Android users


Delivery app DoorDash was hit with a $1 billion lawsuit for allegedly slamming iPhone users with higher fees than it charges its Android-ordering counterparts, claiming “likely because studies reveal iPhone users earn more.”

The explosive class-action suit, filed in the US District Court of Maryland on May 5, claims the food delivery service engages in “deceptive, misleading and fraudulent practices” with “illegal” fees for customers with Apple’s iOS devices.

These “illegal” fees are systematically used to mark up orders by as much as $2 for iPhone users than other devices — even if the order is exactly the same — “likely because studies reveal iPhone users earn more,” the suit says.

“These tactics are simply money grabs,” according to the complaint by Ross Hecox, a single father of two who uses DoorDash and subscribes to DashPass, a service that gives subscribers exclusive discounts….

My Take

That is quite a price tag on the lawsuit, but it’s also a big undertaking to try to prove. We’ve all agreed that DoorDash (and other delivery services) have random fees that don’t make much sense, especially since they aren’t labeled as something clear cut, but instead keep it vague.

The explanation of iPhone users earning more makes sense, but also with how available information is, it would have been an extremely risky move for DoorDash to target iPhone users for a higher fee.

In this day and age, everyone has access to everything, for the most part. And no one is going to shy away from sharing things like how much they are paying for their delivery. And with a buddy sitting next to you who has an Android, it would be really easy to do that side-by-side comparison each time you order.

It seems a bit far-fetched to me, but who knows? Higher-ups may have made this decision thinking they wouldn’t get caught. We’ll be watching this lawsuit to see what transpires. If they are doing something illegal, DoorDash better get on the straight and narrow quickly. Something like this could drive away a lot of customers quickly.

New Ridesharing App Black Wolf Is Like Uber But With Drivers Who Carry Guns


A new ridesharing app to compete with Uber and Lyft recently launched in Atlanta and New York. What makes this app, named Black Wolf, stand out? The driver of your vehicle can be armed with a gun.

“What I’m creating is a necessary evil. It’s a necessity,” Black Wolf founder Kerry King Brown told a local news station in Atlanta, Georgia.

Brown’s company launched last week and first gained widespread attention over the weekend after going viral on Reddit. Brown’s service is being sold as “executive protection” for people who are worried about their personal safety, as the country reels from a seemingly never-ending barrage of mass shootings and mundane interactions that quickly escalate into gun violence….

My Take

Chris and Sergio mentioned this in their most recent Show Me The Money Club video. Hear what they have to say at about 2:10:00 in the video:


Calling themselves the “New Uber with Guns” is a very intriguing tagline. Drivers have been put into very dangerous situations over the years. Some have not come out of them alive, in part, because of the major platforms disallowing weapons of any kind.

Uber and Lyft tout safety as an important part of their platforms but have only done basic measures to ensure the safety of their drivers and passengers. But with the uptick of carjackings and other violent crimes against rideshare drivers, it’s actually refreshing seeing a company step up and allow drivers weapons.

Now, I’m not a gun owner, and I don’t think I ever will be one. And honestly, I think guns aren’t a great solution for the simple reason that any perceived slight could lead to a potentially deadly confrontation. Some people just simply shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun, but as we all know in this country, it’s probably a bit too easy for anyone who wants to get their hands on a gun.

That being said, when I was a rideshare driver, I did keep a taser within easy reach at all times for my own safety. And, I know of several drivers on forums like Reddit who say they are packing despite the rules of Uber and Lyft, again for their own safety.

Knowing that your drivers have a gun on them at all times should be a huge deterrent for passengers looking to cause trouble.

I want to know what our readers think of this. Would you feel more comfortable as a rideshare driver if you are legally allowed to have your gun on you while doing so? What about from a passenger’s point of view? Please share your thoughts!

Uber’s Diversity Chief on Leave After Employee Criticism Over ‘Don’t Call Me Karen’ Panel


Uber’s diversity chief is on leave from the company after criticism from some employees related to an internal panel called “Don’t Call Me Karen.”

Bo Young Lee, Uber’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, is on a leave of absence, Noah Edwardsen, an Uber spokesperson, confirmed to CNN on Monday.

Lee oversaw a series of sessions called “Moving Forward” at Uber that focused on issues around race, gender identity, and class. One of the more recent sessions was titled, “Don’t Call Me Karen,” and focused on the experiences of a handful of women leaders, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. “Karen” is a slang term that usually refers to a middle-aged white woman with a strong sense of entitlement, often at the expense of people of color….

My Take

I won’t say much about this. Just this person, specifically in the position they held, should have been more open to dialogue than lecturing.

You can’t know what other people are thinking and feeling unless you actually stop long enough to listen. Do better.

Lyft is ‘Open’ to Selling Itself. There Might Not Be Any Buyers


Lyft (LYFT) CEO David Risher recently said that the rideshare company is “open” to selling itself, but there’s a kicker — there’s no obvious acquirer.

Lyft, long considered second-fiddle to Uber (UBER), has struggled to get its margins under control and retain market share over the last few years. Risher, who took the helm at Lyft in April, has already been aggressive in his efforts to set the company right financially, going so far as cutting 26% of the workforce less than two weeks after starting as CEO. Lyft’s C-suite shakeup also didn’t come in a vacuum – the company’s stock has plunged 76% in the last year and its market cap sits at about $3.07 billion, a stark contrast to Uber’s $80.3 billion.

So, Lyft has a long way to go, and a sale, at least for Lyft, is certainly worth considering, said Wedbush Senior Equity Research Analyst Dan Ives. The question is: Who would actually buy it?…

My Take

We’ve been talking about Lyft a lot lately because they are making several changes that seem to put their future into question. Interesting to note that Lyft is willing to be bought. But does anyone want them?

If someone were to buy Lyft, it would do well to do a complete rebranding campaign as well as make changes to set them apart from Uber.

As I’ve said in recent round-ups, Lyft and Uber are too similar when it comes to the rideshare side of things. When one does something the other often follows.

Lyft needs to set itself apart from Uber. They need to be their own company and do their own thing.