Uber and Designing for an On-Demand Mobile Workforce

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* Article: Designing for Labour: Uber and the On-Demand Mobile Workforce. By Mareike Glöss, Moira McGregor, and Barry Brown.

URL = http://www.mobile-life.org/sites/default/files/uber%20final%20camera%20ready.pdf


"Apps allowing passengers to hail and pay for taxi service on their phone– such as Uber and Lyft–have affected the livelihood of thousands of workers worldwide. In this paper we draw on interviews with traditional taxi drivers, rideshare drivers and passengers in London and San Francisco to understand how “ride-sharing” transforms the taxi business. With Uber, the app not only manages the allocation of work, but is directly involved in ‘labour issues’: changing the labour conditions of the work itself. We document how Uber driving demands new skills such as emotional labour, while increasing worker flexibility. We discuss how the design of new technology is also about creating new labour opportunities – jobs – and how we might think about our responsibilities in designing these labour relations."