Uber Drivers Will Remain Contractors After $100M Settlement


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Uber Avoids Trial, Settling With Contractors in $100M Class-Action Suit
The Guardian reports that ride-hailing service Uber will settle a class-action suit up to $100M with drivers in California and Massachusetts, skirting a trial that could have reclassified contractors as employees. The proposed settlement, awaiting judge’s approval, would allow Uber to continue classifying drivers as independent contractors, though it will make some changes to their working conditions. These include stopping driver deactivation “at will,” allowing drivers to solicit tips, and facilitating the formation of a “drivers’ association” that can play a role similar to a union. The settlement money will be apportioned to drivers based on the number of miles they have driven with an Uber passenger.

Airbnb Launches New Products to Inspire People to “Live There”
Beginning last week, Airbnb is rolling out a new app that includes features focused on creating more personalized user experiences. These features include an innovative matching system designed to understand travelers’ preferences and pair them with the homes and neighborhoods, as well as a new “Guidebooks” feature will unlock local insights, giving travelers access to millions of insider tips from Airbnb’s global community of hosts. Airbnb is also launching a brand campaign, “Live There,” designed in response to the growing dissatisfaction with standardized tourist offerings as indicated in its recent survey data. Learn more about the new app features, campaign, and survey from BusinessWire.

Tesla’s Musk Secretly Working On Self-Driving Bus to Reduce City Traffic
Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is working on a self-driving vehicle he says could replace buses and other public transport in order to reduce traffic in cities. But, according to Bloomberg, he’s keeping the development a secret. At a recent transport conference in Norway, he told the audience, “We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations. … Autonomous vehicles are key,” he said of the project, declining to disclose more. Musk in the past has mentioned building car tunnels as a fix for traffic congestion and is also exploring Hyperloop to transport people between cities via pods enclosed inside of a tube.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Catalyst Companies™ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

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