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Uber Denies Showing Phantom Cars In App Maps • Mirror Daily

It turns out that Uber’s app might be a lot more complicated than it seems. The taxi-hauling company has responded to claims that it shows on its in-app map some cars that aren’t really there, saying that there are several factors that might influence the driver’s position.

If a car’s location isn’t accurately represented on the passenger app, you can blame either latency, the driver’s safety or the company’s aiming to keep a good user experience inside the app.

Uber’s official statements came in response to a report that quoted some Uber drivers who said that the Uber app is more like a ‘screensaver’ when it comes to visually representing the actual location of the cars. The researchers behind the report had also included a video filmed by one of the company’s drivers, who wanted to demonstrate how inaccurate the app is.

This is not the first time Uber has been accused of showing the so-called phantom cars. An Uber spokesperson told Mashable that there are many factors that might feed this theory. For once, there’s a lag between the driver’s GPS and the app accessed by the passenger; if the driver is in motion, the GPS might have some trouble sending an accurate location in real-time.

Even though one of the company’s goals is showing an accurate representation of the cars on the in-app map, that is not always possible. Another reason is that the app is designed to only spot the nearest eight cars, in an attempt to keep the screen easy to read and to interact with.

At the same time, drivers’ safety is also something to be protected, as some of the individual cars do not appear on the map until a ride is requested. An inside source has confirmed that the Uber app will not show more cars – only less, if there are more than eight – than are in the area.

Lyft, Uber’s number one rival, seems to be using a similar tactic in keeping the screen as decluttered as it can. User experience comes first, and if you would have trouble tapping on the desired ride because of the large number of cars appearing on the screen, user feedback would suffer.

In some ‘volatile situations,’ as explained by the company in a blog post, locations of individual drivers might sometimes be hidden from the app’s map until a ride is requested. Uber said it was doing this so it could protect their drivers’ safety. One event when this was necessary is the violent anti-Uber protests occurring in Paris earlier this summer.
Image Source: Mac World

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