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uberASSIST: Specialised service for disabled and elderly

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source: techinasia.com
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New Delhi: Uber, the app-based taxi service, introduced ‘uberASSIST’, which will provide specialised service for the disabled and the elderly. The service is the first such move in the capital and will become operational from Thursday, December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“Already present in other markets worldwide, Delhi will be the first city in India where Uber is rolling out this service,” said an Uber spokesman to the Times of India.

The driver partners who would be a part of this service will be trained to assist differently-abled or elderly passengers in getting on or off the cab. The drivers will also learn how to store and fold their wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters for transport. Moreover, safety requirements and other necessary bits of knowledge will be imparted to them.

“This will involve visible and invisible disability awareness and communication tips to provide an excellent experience to riders,” added spokesperson Gagan Bhatia.

Uber has come into a partnership with iCare Life to provide its “top” drivers with this specialized training, which will inform drivers how to effectively cooperate with such passengers. They will learn how to ask the right questions and do the right things, so that the passengers have an enjoyable journey.

To access the service, it needs to unlocked first through the Uber mobile app, by typing and entering the code ‘ASSISTDEL’ in the promotions tab. “Select the ‘uberASSIST’ option above the slider, set your location and get your ride,” said the Uber official.

“I use wheelchair and I have experienced the challenges persons with disabilities face in intra-city travel, as cars aren’t accessible and drivers insensitive to our needs,” said Nipun Malhotra of Nipman Foundation, an organization working for the differently-abled.

This Uber service would “soon” be available in other Indian cities.

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Uber to Double its Workforce in The Year 2019

The Uber's IPO move came a day after Lyft, its main competitor in the US, deposited paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO

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Uber to double down on hiring techies in India, files for an IPO. VOA

Online ride-hailing platform Uber has announced to double its workforce in the product and engineering departments — from over 500 to more than 1,000 ‘technologists’ — at its Bengaluru and Hyderabad facilities next year.

Uber India aims to hire full-stack teams that include product managers, product designers, data scientists, user researchers, mobile, front-end and back-end engineers, as well as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts, the company said in a statement late Friday.

“In 2018, our tech teams grew by 150 per cent and we are focused on doubling down again in 2019,” said Apurva Dalal, Head of Engineering, Uber India.

According to the company, its tech centres in Bengaluru and Hyderabad are critical to the global mission of developing urban mobility solutions for everyone.

“Engineers are working on exciting areas of Customer Engagement, Rider access (next billion riders), Uber Eats, Maps, Marketplace and Data platforms,” informed Dalal.

Uber said it will continue to hire talent from top engineering universities in the country.

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

Uber Engineering India has developed some key innovations such as Uber Lite which is a lighter and faster version of the main app.

Uber currently operates in 31 cities in the country and aims to take its services to other, deeper parts of the country.

Meanwhile, the cab hailing app has filed paperwork for its initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday citing people familiar with the matter.

Also Read- Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

The details of Uber’s filing, including the exact day of filing the paperwork, were not known.

According to reports, the company’s most recent private valuation was $76 billion, when it sold a roughly $500 million stake to car maker Toyota.

The Uber’s IPO move came a day after Lyft, its main competitor in the US, deposited paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO. (IANS)