Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., smiles during a Bloomberg Technology television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Reuters
Uber announced its latest slate of updates Monday ahead of what’s expected to be a busy travel and events season.
The features, announced during its Go/Get virtual event, include:
- A new option that lets you book a bus or passenger van.
- A trip itinerary feature to help book rides throughout an extended trip, like a vacation, from one place to another.
- Voice ordering
- An electric vehicle hub for drivers.
Uber has been working toward becoming a “super app” as a way to diversify its offerings, which could potentially help drive long-term profitability. For example, the company is adding trains, buses, planes and car rentals to its U.K. app this summer.
Here are the key offerings:
Uber will let users reserve rides for each part of their itinerary in one hub on the app. A user first connects their Gmail account to the app, then Uber pulls out reservation info and organizes flight, hotel and restaurant plans into one place for what it calls a “stress-free travel experience.” People who book with Uber Travel will get 10% back in Uber cash for each reserved ride. The feature rolls out Monday in the U.S. and in the coming weeks in Canada.
Uber is extending its ride-hailing capabilities through a partnership with U.S. Coachways. The company will let people book large vehicles like a party bus, passenger van or coach bus directly in the app, with the pricing upfront. The feature will launch across the U.S. this summer.
Uber Eats at Stadiums
Uber is rolling out in-venue ordering on Uber Eats and Postmates at certain stadiums across the U.S. and France. Users will be able to place their orders from concessions at their respective stadiums and skip the line to pick up their order when it’s ready. Uber Eats at Stadiums is available in California at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium; in New York at Yankee Stadium; in Washington, D.C. at Capital One Arena; in Houston at Minute Maid Park; in San Jose, California, at PayPal Park; and in Rennes, France, at Roazhon Park.
Users can also start ordering Uber Eats with their Google Assistant through a new integration. All a customer has to do is say “OK Google,” and ask to order a meal from a restaurant on Uber Eats. The feature has started to roll out globally in English, and Uber will add more languages in the coming months.
EV Hub and Charging Map
Uber has made a global commitment to become a zero-emissions mobility platform by 2040, but it will need to get drivers on board. With that, the company announced a new in-app system for drivers looking for more info on electric vehicles. The EV Hub is being billed as “a one-stop shop where they (drivers) can get information and incentives to join the electric revolution, and even compare the cost of ownership of an EV with a non-EV.” Uber is also adding a charging map to the Uber Driver app, which shows where the nearest EV chargers are located, what the charging speeds are and how to get there.
Uber Comfort Electric
Uber is rolling out comfort electric, which allows users to ride in a premium EV, such as a Tesla or Polestar. The feature is available Tuesday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Dubai, and is expected to expand to other markets soon.
Vouchers for Events
Users can now cover the cost of rides for event guests with vouchers. The person hosting will enter the event details, the maximum amount they want to pay and share the generated code with their guests. The guests will determine their own pickup and drop-off times and their chosen location.