Uber surge price? Research says walk a few blocks, wait a few minutes
NPR - 10/29/2015
But how exactly does Uber’s algorithm work? The company doesn’t say. A team of researchers at Northeastern University decided to find out by doing what they call “algorythmic auditing.”
They found that for customers, it pays to be patient — or to walk a few blocks to a less crowded area.
“If you go on eBay or Amazon, you can see, these are all the people who are selling the product, these are all different prices,” says Christo Wilson, one of those researchers. “But Uber is different. They have this algorithm, and they say it changes prices based on supply and demand, but it’s a black box. You have to trust that it’s working correctly, because you can’t verify. You don’t know how many customers there are, you don’t know how many other drivers there are.”