Uber’s Volvo XC90 autonomous car prototype
Remember Greyball, the shady software that Uber used to help drivers dodge regulators in cities where Uber wasn't yet approved? The company stopped using the software in March, but that wasn't good enough for federal investigators.
And so, the U.S. Department of Justice is now investigating Uber for criminal wrongdoing. Coincidentally, officials in Portland, Oregon recently announced that Uber used Greyball repeatedly in 2014, before the company was given the green light to operate within city limits.
Neither Uber nor the DOJ have commented on the investigation. However, a grand jury in northern California has subpoenaed Uber for information about how Greyball worked and how it was employed. While that indicates that a criminal investigation is underway, it doesn't necessarily mean that Uber will be formally charged with wrongdoing. If it is, though--and if evidence from Portland and other cities holds up in court--Uber could be in trouble.