Ah, Uber. I’m just not sure what the company wants to be with its ever-expanding brand and platform. One day it will be a platform for flying cars† The next day it’s all about cycling, then decides to leave it taxis share his platform.
And yesterday it set its sights (or site, to be specific) much higher than ride-hailing and food delivery to something akin to a concierge in life, the launch of a new service offering under the brand. Let’s take a look at their offerings and share some thoughts on the merits of each:
Uber is here to solve the pain of switching apps thanks to its own platform.
From this summer you will be able to book trains, coaches and car hire in the UK with the app.
And in the US and Canada, you can instantly book rides for any part of your itinerary. You can then earn back 10% in Uber Cash for every Reserve ride you book.
verdict: This is smart and causes major disruption to platforms such as omiothat partners with more than 1,000 carriers for trains, buses, flights, ferries, cars and airport transfers for in-app bookings.
And, assuming your flights aren’t delayed by baggage retrieval, the idea of swinging into an airport and having your ride waiting for you is quite appealing.
All aboard the Uber party bus
And if that wasn’t enough, Uber Charter will launch in the US this summer and you can book a party bus, passenger bus or charter bus. Great for weddings and work trips.
verdict: Nice. Ordinarily, you’d google for ages to find a company that can take you to a winery, work retreat, or whatever. I can imagine integration with Trip Advisor or even? Receive your guide incorporate experiences in the future.
Uber Vouchers is what it sounds like. You can organize vouchers for guests at a work event or wedding, for example, and share them with your guests via the app.
verdict: As with the Uber party bus idea, I think the company is really chasing the wedding market – picking up guests at the airport, organizing the commute for the bridal shower, etc. Given the number of weddings postponed due to COVID, this could be huge are lucrative.
Ok, it sounds like a massage chair, but this is actually an in-app feature that allows you to request a ride in a premium EV like a Tesla or Polestar.
Uber is also on a mission to get its drivers to convert to EVs. The app allows them to compare the cost of ownership of an EV to a non-EV. The company has also included a map of the closest EV chargers and their charging speeds.
verdict: This is curious considering that taxi companies struggle to get drivers. And if they can’t afford gas, they can’t afford to buy an electric car to use on the platform. So they will be rent a Tesla from Hertz or similar.
I want green mobility, but it is not clear to me what the cost/benefit ratio is, or whether it will lead to more drivers. I am skeptical.
Uber now integrates with Google Assistance in Uber eats, so you can order food with your voice.
verdict: You can do that with Alexa for a while now. This only expands the range.
Uber Eats in Stadium
If you enjoy watching sports outdoors, you’re in luck. Uber has partnered with Postmates to order food in select stadiums.
verdict: Many smart stadiums already offer the same service under their own apps. This just keeps it in the Uber family.
This week also saw Uber launch two autonomous delivery programs in Los Angeles: Serve Robotics sidewalk robots and Motional fully electric autonomous vehicle fleets.
The latter is the most interesting. Motional and Uber have announced their partnership in December last year, bringing the first pilot of autonomous vehicles onto the Uber Eats network and Motional’s first delivery attempt.
verdict: Delivery robots and self-driving vehicles are a logical solution to the driver shortage. The drivers who just rented a Tesla won’t be too worried just yet, but it shows how the wind is blowing.
Uber One was launched in November 2021, with upgrades to the platform for $9.99 per month, such as $5 in Uber Cash for late deliveries. Now the company is launching benefits with partners such as Marriott Bonvoy®, CLEAR and obé Fitness, expanding the program globally.
So, in conclusion, Uber is really trying to be a life concierge, reducing our decision fatigue and context switching by making everything available in one app. It doesn’t necessarily offer something you can’t get anywhere else, but it makes it all available in one place.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you could book flights or register a digital biometric passport program in the future.
But all this means they get customer loyalty. They also stop you from looking elsewhere. I’m also curious about its impact on small businesses, not the Uber platform.
And more worryingly, Uber is acquiring a rich arsenal of data to determine future product offerings and share it with their vast network of third parties.
How you feel about this will depend on your stance on digital privacy — and whether we’ve lost that battle.
i wondered Uber .’s Constant Diversification for a while, and I can’t help thinking that this is just the beginning.