May 19, 2020

Uber’s troubles are set to continue with new Google lawsuit

Uber Google Maps
Uber Blind app
Snapchat filters Uber
Catherine Rowell
3 min
Uber’s troubles are set to continue with new Google lawsuit

Regularly been subject to controversy, 2017 is not shaping up to be a positive year for Uber so far. Although the company has been increasingly innovative, such as integrating ‘Snapchat-style’ filters within the photo side of the app, alongside utilising Google Maps, where users can “now request an Uber ride directly from the Google Maps app”, the company has unfortunately been in the limelight for the wrong reasons.  

Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, CEO Travis Kalanick has been under fire for initially becoming part of Trump’s advisory team, of which there was significant uproar following on from Trump’s travel ban. However, Kalanick then received equal criticism when he decided to part ways with Trump’s administration.

With the campaign movement for individuals to delete Uber, which trended on twitter (#DeleteUber) following on from the strike at the time of President Trump’s inauguration, the trend has since resurfaced since the release of former Uber site reliability engineer (SRE) Susan Fowler’s recent explosive post about internalised sexism within Uber’s internal operations. The negative and oppressive culture described in Fowler’s post seems to be embedded within the company’s corporate structure and management team, which has historically been supported through an unsupportive HR team.

With the inability to be transferred to another team or gain any form of career growth, it is uncomfortable reading, of which Kalanick quickly took notice as the blog post began to go viral. His response Twitter: “What's described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in. Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired. I've instructed our CHRO Liane to conduct an urgent investigation. There can be absolutely no place for this kind of behaviour at Uber”, alongside his vow to launch a thorough investigation, signifies Kalanick’s devastation and upset. This is only supported further through Kalanick’s assembly of Uber’s workforce with “tears in his eyes” and reportedly apologising for his failings for not addressing the problems earlier.  It has been confirmed that new Chief of Human Resources Liane Hornsey will work alongside board member Arianna Huffington to undertake the investigation, highlighting the company’s urgent need to salvage its reputation within Silicon Valley and throughout America.

However, such attempts to salvage the company’s morale is set to be further hindered through Uber’s attempts to block any online conversation regarding the investigation with other employees, even though such conversation is natural between colleagues who share the same workspace. The utilisation of app Blind is commonly known to be utilised within Uber’s inner operations, yet the app is now officially blocked within Uber’s workplaces, according to Business Insider.

Salvaging the company’s reputation is also set to become a lot harder following Google’s recent lawsuit against Uber, where the company has claimed that former Google engineers have taken intellectual property and utilised it to develop Uber’s transportation operations. The self-driving car group, named Waymo (under Google), has further created a gulf between the two technology giants, even though Google originally invested in Uber when it was a start-up company in 2011, but their paths within transportation are becoming increasingly aligned. Such conflict now also echoes the case between Facebook and Zenimax, and the contention of stolen intellectual property with regards to the Oculus VR headset.  

Waymo’s belief that that their “lidar” sensor has been utilised within Uber technology is not ill founded, given that former members within Google’s self-car driving team are now part of Uber’s operations and behind some of Uber’s recent innovations, involving designs, hardware and circuitry, according to Business Insider.

How will Uber move forward? Watch this space…

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.


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