Uber built an app to spy on competition in the US

Uber built an app called Hell to spy on Lyft drivers in the US, and lure them away to its own platform.

Published Date
13 - Apr - 2017
| Last Updated
13 - Apr - 2017
 
Uber built an app to spy on competition in the US

Uber’s been having a tough time lately. The company has been in a heated courtroom battle against Waymo, on allegations that the company stole trade secrets from the Google-owned self-driving car company. Information has also surfaced about Uber’s self-driving research hasn’t been doing particularly well. However, the company remains amongst the most followed startups in the world.

Uber has also been known for its somewhat questionable market tactics at times, especially about how it implements surge. In the most recent piece of info, it turns out that Uber built an app called Hell, which was meant to track Lyft drivers’ locations and find out which drivers were on both the platforms. Lyft is Uber’s primary competitor in the United States.

According to reports, Uber created fake Lyft driver accounts and then spoofed their locations. This gave it the ability to find the nearest available driver locations for Lyft and see how many of them were open for rides at any point of time. Uber could also check how much trips would cost and where the drivers were.

Uber apparently used the app to analyse drivers’ habits and when they were driving for Lyft. The company matched Lyft drivers’ locations with its own to find out how many of them were driving for both the services. Uber would use this data to lure the drivers away from Lyft.

Of course, the report about Hell isn’t confirmed yet, but it’s a pretty dastardly business practice if it is true. One wonders whether Uber has used the same tactic against Ola, its main rival in India as well.

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