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Uber tackles public policy issues with newly launched “Under the Hood” blog

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

As Uber continues its expansion across the globe, a new company-sponsored public policy blog will touch on several issues facing the popular ridesharing service, such as car insurance and company benefits.

Uber Under the Hood, launched Wednesday, is the latest effort by the San Francisco-based company to garner more support as it deals with lawmakers and local regulators.

The blog will feature a broad range of what Washington Post reporter Brian Fung calls “wonky topics,” including posts by employees, industry insiders and academics, in an attempt to pull the curtain back a bit on Uber’s operation.

Primarily, Under the Hood will tackle public policy issues and how they relate to ridesharing and other aspects of what has been called the “gig economy.”

The mission is outlined in the blog’s inaugural post, titled “Peeking under the hood at Uber.”

“Today the simplest parts of our lives are also the most complex,” the post says. “And for most tech companies, that is the goal: use (often complicated) technology to make your customers’ lives simpler and easier. At Uber, we want to make it possible for anyone anywhere to push a button and get a ride. Simple! And yet…not quite that simple.”

“What’s causing gridlock on our city streets, and what should be done about it? What does the future of work really look like?”

Under The Hood seeks to answer those questions in the context of “what makes Uber, Uber.”

A public policy blog is just the most recent enlighten the public to Uber’s point of view. Earlier this year, the company provided a detailed data report on driver-partners. And there is already Momentum Magazine, first released in March, which is a glossy publication devoted exclusively to Uber drivers.

Although Uber has received more than its share of bad press, the company has made substantial headway with its expansion in Florida, where jurisdiction such as Collier and Broward counties loosening regulations on both cabs and ridesharing services. Earlier this month, the city of Sarasota stripped its old taxi regulations and the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission halted all legal action against Uber. The change in Hillsborough was seen as an olive branch, a response to mounting pressure from customers and drivers for Uber and its rival service Lyft.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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