Thursday, May 19, 2022

Uber’s annual product event will focus on travel, sustainability

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Uber will hold its annual product event on May 16, where the company will showcase new products, updates and features in the areas of travel and sustainability.

It will be Uber’s second product event, after last year’s “Go/Get 2021” meeting showcased a host of pandemic-themed announcements, including the ability to book a vaccine appointment in the Uber app. Other features included car rentals, 30-day travel reservation windows, and multi-stop rides.

“We are excited to introduce our latest innovations at Go/Get 2022,” Uber chief product officer, Sundeep Jain, said in a statement. “As the world continues to change, the Uber team continues to build products to meet changing consumer needs. We can’t wait to share what’s next.”

This year’s event will focus on travel (airport travel is Uber’s bread and butter) and sustainability. Last year, Uber bought 50,000 Tesla vehicles to rent to its drivers as part of an ambitious plan to electrify its fleet in the US by 2030.

The product event comes as auto companies and transportation providers around the world come under regulatory pressure to phase out gas-powered vehicles in favor of zero-emission vehicles. California, the largest auto market in the US, has set rules for taxi companies such as Uber and Lyft, requiring 90 percent of their fleets to be electric by 2030.

Delivery is also likely to play a big part in the announcements. While Uber’s ride-hailing business struggles to recover from the 2020 pandemic lockdowns, Uber Eats has grown rapidly. Food and other delivery bookings in the fourth quarter of 2021 grew 33 percent year-on-year. The company’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, recently told investors that Uber’s delivery business reported its first quarter profit, including US delivery, and that “Uber Eats became the fastest-growing delivery company in America.”

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