It is springtime somewhere in the world, but certainly not in the northeastern part of the United States. The northeastern part of the U.S. has become synonymous with the term Nor’easter (a term that has come to mean a storm that winds its way to the eastern coast of the United States around South or North Carolina and then makes its way up the coast into New England, wreaking havoc along the way, with rain, ice, snow and wind). This winter has been an exceptionally harsh one, with four Nor’easters in a row. As I write this article I think and hope that the last of the Nor’easters have made their way through and passed out to sea.

With the weather out of the way (I hope), let’s talk business.

Nothing has changed much with regard to alleged offenses being caused by Uber and Lyft drivers. Across the country we hear about passengers being left on the highway, and drivers being accused and/or arrested for sexual assault, drug use, robbery and numerous other offenses. Although Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick, has fallen from grace and been replaced as the CEO of the company by Dara Khosrowshahi there have been very little, if any, improvements in the running of the company. Uber is still hemorrhaging money and is involved in many questionable dealings. Along with the many lawsuits that the company faces, they are also being investigated by more and more regulatory bodies.

With all that the company is facing, its new CEO has set his sights on driverless cars and trucks. This, however, may very well be put on the back burner in light of the recent Uber accident in Tempe, Arizona, where a woman pedestrian became the first person killed by an autonomous vehicle… which just happened to be an Uber vehicle. The vehicle was reported to have been traveling at a rate of 40mph when the incident occurred. Shortly thereafter, Daniel Shane reported in a CNN tech column that Toyota has become the first major auto maker to halt tests of autonomous cars. Uber has also put tests of self-driving cars on hold.

There is also interesting stuff coming down the pike in New York and New Jersey. Former NYCTLC Chairman, Matthew W. Daus spoke at NYMTC’s office on March 27,2018, on Big Data, Autonomous Mobility and the Law – and in New Jersey at the Tropicana Hotel, April 17-19, Autonomous Driving is Coming – Will New Jersey be Ready?

The insurance industry is a part of the puzzle that is only starting to be explored regarding driverless cars. The Uber accident in Arizona should play a big part in decisions that are inevitably made.

There is some interesting news happening in New York State. The State’s Assembly Democrats have submitted a plan to deal with congestion in New York City, which calls for adding a congestion fee on only cabs and for-hire vehicles. This is in the hopper, so look for more details in future articles.

Please make sure to read the following TLC NOTICES:

Industry Notice #18-03 deals with a DMV office opening at the TLC.

Industry Notice #18-04 deals with the issuing of new Taxi Plates.


Article by Victor Dizengoff

Victor Dizengoff is a retired industry icon and a founder of the New York Black Car industry.

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