Uber might leave London, Ontario if the city passes a safety bylaw that requires cameras in all of its vehicles, according to a letter sent by the San Francisco-based company to London’s city council on February 6th.
Uber has threatened to cease operations in the city, stating that the cost of installing cameras would be prohibitive at over $1,000 per vehicle and that the current safety features built-in to its app are more than sufficient to make customers feel comfortable. The company started a petition against the new bylaw on February 6th that already has over 6,ooo supporters out of its 7,000 goal.
“This requirement for cameras will make it impossible for people in London to earn a flexible income driving with Uber and are unnecessary as Uber’s technology makes rides safe before, during and after a trip in ways not possible before,” states the petition, adding that the request is unheard of when put in a global context.
“To put this into perspective, over 70 jurisdictions around the world have passed regulations that embrace ridesharing but no city in the world requires cameras in ridesharing vehicles.”
Meanwhile, the move is welcomed by members of the London Taxi Association, according to Global News, since all taxis currently operating in London are required to have cameras.
London city council voted in favour of the bylaw on January 31st by a slight margin — the vote tallied seven to six in favour of the change. If the bylaw makes it through a final vote, London will become the first city in the world to require cameras in Uber vehicles, with the aim of enacting the rules by the end of March.
Until the February 14th decision, Uber is now technically operating illegally in the region and vehicles may face fines if caught by bylaw officers.