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Business News/ Companies / News/  No need to own a car, just borrow one for a trip! Uber is expanding its carshare platform

No need to own a car, just borrow one for a trip! Uber is expanding its carshare platform

Uber is expanding its Carshare service in North America, allowing users to borrow a car when they need one. The service will start in Boston and Toronto, with car owners setting their own daily and hourly pricing.

The move is part of a wider range of green initiatives from the ride-hailing firm, which include $800m of support for electric vehicle drivers. (AP)Premium
The move is part of a wider range of green initiatives from the ride-hailing firm, which include $800m of support for electric vehicle drivers. (AP)

From waving at local black-and-yellow cabs to advancing into booking your own Uber in the comfort of your home, one would wonder what more is stored! How about, renting your car and earning money from them? That's exactly what American-based service/ride-hailing, Uber is aiming for. On Thursday, Uber announced that it is expanding its Carshare in North America which is their new product where users can borrow a car when they need one. This is expected to increase efficiency and contribute to more livable neighborhoods. However, this is not a new concept.

In its "Making it easy to go green" press note, Uber's chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi introduced a series of new features to make it easier for riders and drivers to go green.

In the case of carsharing, Khosrowshahi said, "There are some moments in life when you might need to drive yourself—whether it’s to run errands or take a weekend getaway. That’s why we’re expanding Uber Carshare, our new product that allows you to borrow a car when you need one, so you don’t have to own one."

He added, "By turning any car into a shared car, you’re increasing efficiency and contributing to more livable neighborhoods."

It needs to be noted that it was only last year when Uber entered into the car-sharing business after acquiring Car Next Door in Australia.

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Now, Uber Carshare will be stepping into North America soon. It is said that the service will start in Boston and Toronto.

Under Uber Carshare, owners of the cars can set their own daily and hourly pricing. There are no requirements for advance booking, and availability will be listed in 15-minute increments. Further, the fuel cost will be included in the pricing, and insurance options are also available from Uber.

How does it work?

Uber Carshare takes three steps.

- First, find Uber Carshare in your app store or visit and search for cars, vans, and utes near you.

- Second, once you’ve found your perfect vehicle, sign up as an Uber Carshare member for free and book your trip in a few easy steps.

- Third, when the time comes for your trip, you can pick up and return the car using the app. It's simple and hassle-free.

In a statement, Camiel Irving, head of Uber's rides business in the U.S. and Canada said that for years, Uber has made it effortless to tap a button and get a ride on demand. Now, we're taking the same approach with car-sharing by making it simple, affordable, and sustainable for you to borrow and list cars in your neighborhood.

However, Joann Muller, author of Axios What's Next in her report said Uber's carshare is not a new concept.

As per Muller's note, car-sharing is not a new idea. Zipcar, now a unit of Avis Budget Group, has offered it since 2000.

And that's not all, many car-sharing companies came soon after in a span of two decades.

Zipcar's founders, Robin Chase, and Antje Danielson, sat in a café in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and decided to bring the European car-sharing idea to North America.

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Becoming a Zipcar member is easy. All you need is to be 21 or older, 18 years old if you are either a student at a university affiliated with Zipcar or if you live in New York, Michigan, or Maryland. And secondly, you need to have a valid driver's license.

After Zipcar, in 2009, RelayRides stepped into the same peer-to-peer carsharing business in San Francisco a decade later. However, RelayRides was rebranded to Turo after 2015.

In India, we have a carsharing platform, Zoomcar which was founded back in 2013. Currently, Zoomcar operates in over 34 cities.

Nevertheless, on Thursday, Uber launched UberX Share in 18 more cities, allowing more riders to share their trip, cut emissions, and save money when matched with a co-rider along the way. That being said, UberX Share is now available in 50+ global cities, making it the most widely-available shared rides product in the world.

Also, the company plans to expand bikes to Chile through its partnership with Tembici in Latin America soon, so more riders can book a bike. Further, Uber's chief said they are launching Uber Green today in Australia, making it available in more than 140 cities globally.

Moreover, Uber is devoting $800 million in resources to support electric vehicle drivers. It is also planning to build smart charging features into the Uber Driver app for electric vehicle drivers. Meanwhile, they are developing Battery-Aware Matching, which filters trip requests based on a driver’s battery level, so they can take trips that end near a charger and avoid trips that are too long for their battery.

Also, Uber is adding a range of perks for riders and drivers to encourage them to go green at the airport. For riders who choose Uber Comfort Electric or Uber Green, perks include lower fares and exclusive access to dedicated pickup zones in preferred locations at the airport. And for drivers, the company will offer convenient, discounted, or even free access to fast chargers in the driver waiting lot.

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Updated: 08 Jun 2023, 07:45 PM IST
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