Uber has presented a new vision of how it plans to tackle growing competition across various services. The home screen of the main Uber app will serve as a hub for food delivery and transportation. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company wanted to be an operating system of everyday life. The company has been under pressure to turn its fortunes and start making a profit. It lost $5 billion in August due to its terrible earnings report.
To achieve its ambitious goal, Uber has launched and overhauled several products. Rider loyalty programs will be expanded to international markets, first to Brazil and Mexico. New partnerships offer more perks for rider loyalty points. New Jump bike with a removable battery was also launched – batteries can be swapped at charging wall docks around the city. Jump bikes will be shown in a prominent way as an alternative to driving. Eat Pass has been launched allowing unlimited Uber Eats deliveries. Uber Eats has also launched more than 5000 virtual kitchens – restaurants that only deliver but don’t have a physical location.
The company also overhauled its safety features allowing for an automatically filled text message with car information and location to be sent to police. A rider can also request pin confirmation by the driver or ultrasound-based matching. Uber app will also notify you when you are being dropped off near a bike lane, so you can watch out for oncoming bikes.
For drivers, Uber is adding a heat map to find areas with higher demand. Uber Pay will now allow for depositing cash at certain stores. Uber transit will allow for trip planning in conjunction with public transportation. The company has also launched a new startup incubator.
Waymo valuation cut 40% by Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley has lowered the valuation of Alphabet-owned self-driving car company Waymo. The main reason for this reduction is that the commercialization of autonomous vehicles is taking longer than expected. The valuation was cut from previous $175 billion to $105 billion.
Another reason provided by Morgan Stanley was an underestimation of how long safety drivers would be needed to be present in the self-driving cars and the timing of the rollout of autonomous ride-sharing services. Waymo has been making progress with new regulatory approvals, improving driving systems and new partnerships with OEMs. According to the analysts, this lowering of valuation is reflective of the general readjustment of projections in the self-driving car industry.