E-hailing app Uber has announced plans for an expansion in Europe that the company says will create 50,000 jobs.
The strategy was announced by Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick at the DLD15 Conference in Munich yesterday in a move that has likely been plotted to bring regulators onside after a string of recent controversies stained the service's global reputation.
"We want to make 2015 the year where we establish a new partnership with EU cities," said Kalanick. "I think i'm going to be spending a little more time here in Europe." Scroll down to view the entire presentation.
Uber has outlined the strategy in more detail in a statement, pointing to the potential economic benefits of deregulating transportation jobs. "The transportation economy can then better provide opportunity for those looking for more flexibility as well as the unemployed and the underemployed," it wrote.
The firm has also revealed that it is introducing rules to ensure public safety is protected. The potential dangers of using the app have been in sharp focus recently. The alleged rape of a woman in Delhi by an Uber driver in December saw the city ban the app, with countries such as Spain and The Netherlands following suit.
In addition, San Francisco district attorney George Gascon recently revealed he had joined his Los Angeles counterpart in filing a lawsuit, accusing Uber of “making false or misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in a variety of business practices that violate California law”.
“Uber has refused to comply with straightforward California laws that protect consumers from fraud and harm,” Gascon and Los Angeles County district attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. "These companies can be innovative in the way they deliver services without ignoring the laws that protect the public."
Uber have also been on a charm offensive in the US recently, announcing a price drop in 48 US cities while claiming the cuts will lead to drivers actually being paid more than they are currently.
According to the company, the adjusted model will increase driver demand, leading to more trips every hour and more earnings for every hour on the road.
Taxi image via Shutterstock