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Melbourne to Launch Uber Airs Aerial Ride-sharing Pilot Program

Uber reported that traffic congestion costs Australia AU$16.5 billion (US$11.47 billion) each year and it is anticipated that in 2030 the figure will go up to AU$30 billion

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Uber app.

Australias Melbourne city will be the first in the world outside of the US to launch Uber Airs aerial ride-sharing pilot program, the company said on Wednesday.

“Test flights (are) due to start from 2020 and plans for commercial operations (will) commence from 2023,” Uber announced in a statement, reported Efe news.

Dallas and Los Angeles in the US are the other two pilot cities.

More than 3.8 million Australians use the ride-sharing service, which entered the market in 2012, Regional General Manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, Susan Anderson, said on Tuesday at a company meeting in Washington.

Uber, bengaluru
Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (VOA)

“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ride-sharing and future transport technology,” said Anderson.

“This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air,” she added.

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Uber reported that traffic congestion costs Australia AU$16.5 billion (US$11.47 billion) each year and it is anticipated that in 2030 the figure will go up to AU$30 billion.

“In the long term, the vision is for safe, quiet electric vehicles transporting tens of thousands of people across cities for the same price as an UberX trip over the same distance,” Uber’s statement said. (IANS)

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Uber Incorporates Several Changes to its App for Drivers to Improve their Experience

Earlier in May, ride-hailing drivers in cities across the US went on strike to protest unfair pay, poor working conditions and lack of transparency from Uber

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Uber, bengaluru
Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (VOA)

Amid rising tensions over workers rights, global ride-hailing major Uber has incorporated several changes to its app for drivers to improve the experience for both newer as well as seasoned drivers.

Uber is testing out several new features for drivers, including a scrolling feed of promotions and gamified ‘quests’ that would be viewable before drivers sign in to start driving, The Verge reported on Thursday.

For newer drivers, there would be a ‘simulated trip’ to walk them through the virtual steps of their first ride before they commit to actually picking up passengers.

The update on Uber’s app comes at a time when ride-hailing drivers are supporting legislation in California that would reclassify them as employees rather than contractors.

The app would also give notifications to drivers for longer than average trips.

Uber app.

When drivers need to cancel a trip, the app would allow them to specify the reasons why – while a new feature would automatically accept the next trip to help the drivers earn the ‘consecutive trip’ bonus paid out by Uber, the report said.

Critics have dismissed these ‘gamified’ features as psychological tricks meant to keep drivers on the road longer.

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However, Uber argues that these features are popular with drivers because they often put more money in their pockets.

Earlier in May, ride-hailing drivers in cities across the US went on strike to protest unfair pay, poor working conditions and lack of transparency from Uber. (IANS)