Uber says it can charge up to 9.9x if your battery is low


In an episode of NPR’s The Hidden Brain, Uber’s head of economic research Keith Chen says when you hit accept to download, you give Uber the permission to know this in order to tell when to switch to low-power mode.

Interestingly, Uber monitors your battery levels at all times.  The argument is that if your phone goes dead – its as if you’ve lost your wallet.  No ability to pay on Uber (or find a different taxi).  The surge pricing seems a bit ridiculous to me though, considering there is no change in the driver’s behavior when picking up a client with 10% battery or one with 99% battery.  

The whole thing seems stupid to me, but there are all sorts of caveats in Uber’s pricing (which is basicallt unknown to most users).  Like New Years Eve in Manhattan last year, when riders traveloing under 20 miles were smacked with $200 & $300 ride fares.  I guess the entire system of ride sharing being relatively new leaves a lot of room for “interpretation” – which in this case seems to border on Deception & Usury.

Uber says it can charge up to 9.9x if your battery is low

Without further ado:

Uber riders are willing to pay up to 9.9x in surge pricing if their phone battery’s low