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In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, an Uber driverless car is displayed in a garage in San Francisco. The ride-hailing company is refusing to obey demands by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles that it stop picking up San Francisco passengers in specially equipped Volvo SUVs. Hours after Uber launched the self-driving service Wednesday, Dec. 14, the DMV warned it was illegal because the cars did not have a special permit. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Uber reportedly used secret software called 'Hell' to undercut Lyft


Uber used covert software codenamed "Hell" to spy on drivers for its rival Lyft, The Information reported. 

Uber created fake Lyft rider accounts to find where Lyft drivers were in a given city, allowing them Uber to track its rival's drivers' location. It also found the unique Lyft ID number and used it to track driving habits, allowing Uber to find out if people drove for both services. It would then send more offers to those drivers so they spent more time driving for Uber and less for Lyft.

Self-driving Uber (Uber)
Self-driving Uber (Uber)

Uber reportedly used Hell from 2014 to 2016, stopping around the time Lyft earned $1 billion in funding. Only a handful of Uber employees knew about Hell, including CEO Travis Kalanick.

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Uber did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.  A Lyft spokesperson told The Information if the allegations were proven true, they were "very concerning."

Uber has faced a string of controversies and difficulties in 2017. Its self-driving car program was suspended after a crash in Arizona. It also had to pay $20 million for misleading drivers about how much they would make and faced controversy over a sexual harassment scandal. The #DeleteUber campaign gained steam after Uber drivers broke a taxi strike during protests over President Trump's travel ban.

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