Uber has changed its business model considerably since its entry into India. Now, for the first time, Uber has entered into the autorickshaw aggregation space and have launched UberAUTO. The initiative has made its debut in Delhi, where autorickshaws can now be booked just via a swipe on the app. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelinesAlso Read - Uber launches 'Uber Connect' package delivery service to rival Dunzo and Swiggy Genie
UberAUTO is a cash-only service for now though. Users select the uberAUTO option in-app, take a ride and pay the driver directly in cash. The pricing is similar to the government approved metered fare. Also Read - Uber to operate 'Essential' cab service to hospitals and pharmacy stores in 4 cities
“When it comes to getting around Delhi, autorickshaws are a staple. We recognize the history and value of autos to the transportation landscape. For us, uberAUTO is another way of using technology to offer more choice, making life simpler and keep Delhi moving,” the company said in its blog post.
Just a few days ago, we had reported that Uber was testing a new autorickshaw aggregation service in Delhi.
This is the first time Uber has brought auto rickshaws on to its platform. Delhi is the first city in the world to get UberAUTO, and this is also the first global product from Uber to come with a cash-only service. It is noteworthy to mention that Uber does not accept cash payments anywhere else in the world.
UberAUTO comes in at a time when rival Olacabs recently launched similar in-app bookings for auto-rickshaws in Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmadabad, Delhi and Bangalore. Olacabs pays a commission of Rs 1,500 per month to every driver under the Olacabs umbrella. It is not sure how much Uber pays to its partnered auto rickshaw drivers.
Reports of Olacabs and Uber both being sent letters to stop operations in Delhi till their radio taxi license application process is not complete, also surfaced a few weeks ago. Olacabs, at that time, had said that they had not received any such notification, while Uber chose to not comment at all.
With Uber launching new services and initiatives (Uber’s Gurgaon Gourmet Week is underway) in full swing, it looks like the company has no plans to stall its business in the country.
The fallout of the Uber rape case in December has had serious implications on the cab service companies in India. The companies have since then indulged heavily in introducing new safety measures and complying with government s policies.