Following Uber’s serious battle in Washington DC, the city of Boston has sent the transportation startup a cease and desist order.
According to Uber’s blog post, the “Division of Standards is claiming that until the National Institute of Standards and Technology has guidelines in place for GPS location technology, we cannot provide our application to the public.” This is puzzling, as GPS is by no means an emerging technology, and Uber’s GPS-based system has proved effective in San Francisco and New York.
It’s difficult not to side with Uber on this one, as we’re much stronger supporters of innovation than politics. It makes complete sense to update laws for hybridized transportation systems (aka all the services in-between taxis and limos), but placing a blockade on the company’s existing business seems horribly counter productive for Boston and its hopes to grow as a startup hub.
Uber states that it is still focused on providing its services in Boston, and is “committed to dialogue with the Division on this new generation of technology.” This doesn’t appear to be as nasty a situation as DC was, so hopefully things will come together in a way that keeps Uber available to consumers as long as they want to use it.
More to follow.