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Uber to Work on Autonomous Bikes, Scooters Option

The company's self-driving car division was temporarily shut down in 2018 after a fatal crash in the US state of Arizona

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

Resuming its self-driving programme, global ride-sharing major Uber has hired a “micromobility robotics” team to work on autonomous bikes and scooters.

The company is working to develop electric scooters and bicycles which can drive themselves around cities in order to reach customers and charging points.

Electric scooter and bicycle-sharing services, including Uber’s Jump business as well as competitors Bird and Lime, allow customers to collect the vehicles and then leave them on the pavement outside their destination, The Telegraph reported late on Sunday.

“The business hasn’t published any further information on the project, but said in an online hiring page that it plans to ‘improve safety, rider experience, and operational efficiency of our shared electric scooters and bicycles through the application of sensing and robotics technologies’,” the report added.

Uber app.
The company is facing stiff competition from Lime, Lyft and numerous other entrants.

The move would give it a way to stand out, not to mention ingratiate itself with city officials who would otherwise balk, according to the Engadget.

The company’s self-driving car division was temporarily shut down in 2018 after a fatal crash in the US state of Arizona.

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A self-driving Volvo SUV from Uber travelling at 64 km per hour had killed a woman, triggering a heated debate on whether autonomous cars are safe enough and who is to blame for the death. (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)