Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says 'we want to be the operating system for your life'; launches incubator

Unveiling the new vision for the ride-hailing giant at an event in San Francisco, Dara said Uber is bringing all its services under one umbrella

Announcing the launch of the next generation of the Uber app at an event in San Francisco on Thursday, Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said:

"We want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life: however you want to move around your city, and whatever you need, we want Uber to be your go-to app."

Dara also said it was a new way to discover, access, and experience the growing number of services available on the platform.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber

"You’ll now see our rides, eats, and future options side-by-side, so you can make the best choice. This new app experience is currently being tested in hundreds of cities in the US and across the globe," said Dara.

More importantly, the CEO of the San Francisco-based ride hailing app also announced the launch of Uber Incubator. The six-month entrepreneur-in-residence programme will be open to both Uber employees and to external applicants. The entrepreneurs will get to work hand-in-hand with the incubator team to turn their ideas into businesses on the Uber platform.

"We’re also actively engaging with early-stage startups that are taking smart risks and want to leverage the strengths of our platform to scale their businesses. We’re hoping to find opportunities to grow new startups that can help improve our customer experience across mobility, logistics, and more. If you would like to join us as we build new products, we have dozens of openings for tech and non-tech candidates," said Dara.

Some of the key new features announced by Uber at the event were:

  • Verify your ride - Similar to Ola's OTP, to ensure you are getting into the right car, your Uber ride will now come with a four-digit pin. Dara said they are also working on a new technology that uses ultrasound waves to automatically verify you're in the right care without a pin.
  • On-trip reporting: Uber also announced the launch of 'Report Safety Incident' in their safety toolkit to enable the rider to report a problem or a safety concern while on the ride.

To ensure that driver partners are happy, Uber also announced the upcoming debut of an earnings estimator to help drivers better predict their earnings potential.

"At times, drivers get trips to locations where they’re less likely to get a rider heading back in the other direction. So, in November, we’re introducing Back to Busy Area. If a driver completes a trip in a quiet area, they can turn this on to help filter trip requests back in the direction of their choice," said Dara.

The team also announced the Uber Pro programme for drivers in the US, which includes rewards like discounts for driver-related expenses and 100 percent tuition coverage at ASU Online.

The team also rolled out the Demand Heatmap that helps drivers see highlighted areas where more riders are requesting trips. It also helps drivers predict when they are likely to get a trip request.

Dara said: "Uber started with on-demand rides, but we’ve grown to offer access to everything - from food delivery to electric bikes, and scooters. We’ve even integrated public transit into the Uber app, as well as a few helicopters. We recognise that becoming an integral part of people’s lives comes with real responsibility. That’s why we are working to make sure every customer is treated like a VIP, and every driver and courier feels like a valued partner, and every city feels like we’re a good citizen. With that in mind, today we also announced a number of innovative features and new partnerships."

(Edited by Megha Reddy)


Updates from around the world