Uber's second major expansion relates to vehicle rentals.
And Uber is now testing rental cars through peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround in San Francisco. "Our teams spent time on-ground, interacting with partners through group sessions, ride-alongs and in person meetings to gather inputs", Uber Head of Central Operations (India and South Asia) Pradeep Parameswaran said.
"In the same way you can rent a bike through Uber, you'll now be able to rent a auto through Uber as well", said Jahan Khanna, Uber's head of product for mobility. Also today, Uber announced a partnership with London-based Masabi, a mobile ticketing company that Uber said will help customers book and use public transit tickets directly within the Uber app.
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The upcoming service is part of Uber's push to become a hub for all your transportation needs.
At a future of mobility event in Washington D.C. today, Khosrowshahi announced Uber's foray into auto rentals, shared bikes in D.C. and public transportation. It's getting into both auto and bike rentals, along with mobile tickets for public transport.
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Experts agree that the latest move is part of a larger effort to expand the business beyond the usual ride-hailing service. Current Masabi cities include Boston, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, but they don't yet offer MTA tickets. "I think the biggest challenge for us has been awareness", Zaid said.
"Imagine there's a car-sharing network that has cars every half a mile", Khanna said. Better understanding curb utilization can help cities around the world prepare for a future where more and more of us are accessing transportation through a combination of shared modes, rather than relying on our own vehicles. That service will be offered beginning later this month - but only in San Francisco for now, Uber said.
"We definitely have very aggressive expansion plans", Zaid said of Getaround, pointing to its recent launch in Los Angeles, and a focus on helping cities reduce traffic and air pollution through auto sharing.
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Uber Rent will be available in San Francisco, but will expand nationally once the company feels comfortable with it.