For the brief month when Nevadans had access to the ride sharing service Uber through the use of the smartphone app, transport options were plentiful, affordable, and blissfully easy—except when they weren’t. When the government banned Uber it did so under the auspices of regulatory compliance issues that affected public safety, and while instances of threats to personal safety in Uber’s services in Nevada had been few and far between, there is something unnerving about exposing oneself to such risk and having no recourse, as this Review Journal article reminds us. No recourse, meaning, an auto accident lawyer in Las Vegas might put up a good fight for you if you were injured in the course of an Uber ride, but the fact that you already signed away your rights, letting Uber deny any “responsibility or liability to you” would make the case pretty difficult.
That’s the dark side of the industry, and a good measure of why a district court ruled that Uber was in violation of state law. And while it may be unnerving to think about signing away your rights, Rick Velotta points out, “Each of us do it all the time. We sign off on our rights in order to be served.” Because an auto accident lawyer in Las Vegas would have to know that in order to download the Uber app, you have to agree to release the company from all liability, it certainly raises the question—what else do we relinquish our rights for?
The answer is services everywhere, every day, from those received in “doctors’ and dentists’ offices” to participation in school field trips. And what, statistically, is more hazardous than getting into a vehicle and traveling on public roads and state highways? Very little. How do taxi companies, in Uber’s recent absence, work with Nevada’s Department of Transportation to see a middle ground—between avoiding lawsuits from an auto accident attorney in Las Vegas that could break the bank, complying with the state regulations geared toward public safety, and providing customers with affordable and convenient transport options?
Las Vegas-based Ride Integrity Vehicle Solutions thinks it has the answer, as it prepares to “roll out its newly upgraded Ride Genie app for use in the taxi industry.” While it still has some logistical and policy issues to work out, advocates for the new technology are hopeful that it will serve Las Vegas consumers in a similar way that Uber briefly did. Using smartphone technology platform to hail a taxi (or just plain ole dialing a phone number, for “tech-challenged customers who have no use for computers and are comfortable with their home landlines”) would attract the closest available cab to the pickup point, regardless of which taxi company it was.
Such “collaboration within the cab industry is unprecedented,” but it represents an optimistic solution to consumer demand for quick, easily accessible rides. The question of liability will probably still remain, however, as an auto accident attorney in Las Vegas like Travis J. Robertson would likely point out: now with a third party technology servicer collaborating with multiple cab companies, where does the buck stop in terms of safety and compensation for damages? These are questions that NDOT and the Taxicab Authority will probably face down the line, but for now, they are hopeful about the new program.