Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Yesterday Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi -- Crikey's standout Clown of the Week -- told The Australian Financial Review that the company is considering a trial process in Australia whereby drivers bid for rides and set their own prices.

It's an obvious attempt to clear up all those pesky questions about the company's responsibilities towards the workforce it relies on, cementing their status as independent contractors rather than employees. Or, as Khosrowshahi inevitably tells us, it's "designed to empower drivers".

Consider the string of events that lead to this announcement. In the last three months, five people have died while working for gig economy food delivery services.