LONDON -- Uber, the world's largest ride-hailing app, has won a significant legal battle in Britain after the High Court in London decided that the company's app is not the same as a taximeter and is therefore not breaking the law. Under pressure from London's iconic black cab drivers and unions, Transport for London (TfL) brought the case against Uber claiming the app was being used as a taximeter and should therefore be subject to the same rules as taxi drivers.
Lord Justice Ouseley said: “A taximeter, for the purposes of section 11 of the Private Hire Vehicles Act 1998 does not include a device that receives GPS signals in the course of a journey, and forwards GPS data to a server located outside of the vehicle, which server calculates a fare that is partially or wholly determined by reference to distance travelled and time taken and sends the fare information back to the device."
Uber has welcomed the ruling, telling the Guardian: “Now the high court has ruled in favour of new technology, we hope Transport for London will think again on their bureaucratic proposals for apps like Uber.”
TfL is currently carrying out a consultation process on how ride-hailing apps like Uber and Hailo are used in the city. One of the proposals includes the introduction of a mandatory five-minute wait before a driver working for a ride-hailing app can pick up a customer.
London is one of Uber's biggest markets with 18,000 drivers and more than 1 million people living in the city signing up for the service so far. London is just one of the cities around the world where Uber is having issues with regulators as it continues to disrupt the taxi industry.