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Alternative cab service Uber, on its way to regulatory approval for its system for calculating fares, is announcing today that it has received a 12-month temporary use permit from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS).
Uber has received the permit after the state department found GPS-based measurements of time and distance to be accurate in initial testing. Now the department can come up with new standards for this sort of technology and determine if Uber can receive a formal certificate of approval.
“Why does this matter? For riders and drivers using the Uber platform, it provides assurance that Uber can calculate recommended fares accurately and fairly,” Uber wrote today in a blog post. “Today, we are the only company using GPS data that can say this.”
The DMS traditionally provides certificates of approval for measuring equipment such as vehicle gas tank meters, scales, and farm milk tanks.
San Francisco-based Uber operates in many states in the U.S. and is rapidly expanding its operations around the world. But it’s critical for Uber to have regulatory approval of its system for determining fares in accord with GPS-based measurements.
“We look forward to working with the Division of Measurement Standards here as they develop new regulations to provide a framework to measure the accuracy of ridesharing apps and other GPS-based devices, which we hope will benefit people across the state,” Uber said in the blog post.
The legitimacy of Uber’s iOS and Android apps are on the line here — it’s just another challenge the company faces alongside lawsuits, political pushback from cities, and, of course, competition from companies like Lyft.
Uber earlier this week was reported to be valued at $51 billion following a new funding round.
For more on this news, check out today’s blog post from DMS director Kristin Macey.
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