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It’s a first: Uber authorized by California Division of Measurement Standards

August 5, 2015 / California

Uber is the first company to be authorized by the California Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) as providing a reliable and accurate way to recommend fares using GPS data.  In fact, the permit granted by DMS confirms that Uber “meets or exceeds” the traditional requirements of measuring distance and time.  Why does this matter?  For riders and drivers using the Uber platform, it provides assurance that Uber can calculate recommended fares accurately and fairly. Today, we are the only company using GPS data that can say this.

Uber recommends fares by processing Global Positioning System (GPS) data from smartphones on its servers to measure time and distance. This technology is not just changing the way we connect with people and places, it’s also changing the way regulators work with companies and industries. Fifty-four jurisdictions across the U.S. have now developed new, common sense regulations for app-based ridesharing services. The DMS is now the first agency in the U.S. to develop a process by which GPS-driven, app-based services can apply to receive a permit as a commercial measuring device.

“We safeguard the proprietary information of all our applicants, but I can say that the Uber App was tested for accuracy under the most rigorous conditions and it passed our tolerance tests. We tested the app in a variety of challenging environments; through tunnels, among skyscrapers and tall buildings, on courses with altitude changes, and even on San Francisco’s Lombard Street, one of America’s crookedest streets.”
                       – Kristin Macey, director of the California Division of Measurement Standards

California’s positive approach to innovation has helped ensure the success of many startups and new technologies. We look forward to working with the Division of Measurement Standards here as they develop new regulations to provide a framework to measure the accuracy of ridesharing apps and other GPS-based devices, which we hope will benefit people across the state.