Uber's app has permission to access all sorts of things on your phone, including peeping how much juice is left on that battery. Why? Well, Chen says it's so the app can switch over to a low-power mode, but he also mentioned that folks with a dying handset are okay with paying more. He also says that the company doesn't use this information to jack up rates. Chen notes that in general, customers are fine with paying surge rates that are 1.9 and 2.1 times the regular price. However, when that amount sits at exactly twice the normal amount, there's a dramatic decrease in ride scheduling.
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This article by Billy Steele originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.