Uber drivers are a cult.
Last Thursday New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission held a hearing to take up proposed rule changes that would greatly reduce the public safety threat posed by distracted driving caused by driver apps.
For one thing drivers would be permitted to have only one of the apps, not the current state of affairs allowing them multiple apps. Other improvements would include mandating the app be affixed to the car and very importantly the app would be programmed to be inoperable if the car is in motion except that the driver could tap once to accept a job, or the app could allow the driver to accept the job via voice command.
If the rules stand they could seriously crimp Uber's business model. Uber recruited most of its professional drivers in New York City by sharing the allegiance of livery drivers who are already affiliated with a base and by drawing them further in with thousand dollars bonuses for dropping their original affiliation. Some livery based have their own apps and we're vulnerable to poaching by Uber.
Uber's app would no longer give their drivers turn by turn navigation. Most Uber drivers, who work part time don't live in the city. They'll be pressed to learn their way around.
The tech industry is not pleased and will be lobbying hard, mobilizing both the usual approaches and also the populist approaches of mobilizing both drivers and libertarian ideologues and other narcissistic personality disorder stricken Uber fans.
It will be up to our pliable mayor deBlasio to hold firm.