When talking about ride-hailing services, Uber is surely the one which makes up for most of the conversation due to its new and innovative technology solutions. Be it the location-focused app update or the new colorful beacon, the company is always working to enhance the user experience with additions to its platform. But that’s not all.
Uber is also focused on becoming the first cab aggregation service to make clean and advanced green automobile technologies available to the general populous. Thus, today, it is taking the first step in that direction to introduce a fleet of electric Tesla Model S cars on the streets of Madrid. The vehicles have been made available to licensed drivers in the country, where the ride-hailing service was banned until March of this year
The very first ride for this new elite and electric vehicle experience, with free internet connection and a complimentary Surface Pro 4, was hailed by Pilar López, the president of Microsoft in Spain. Post the translation of the Madrid blog post, she shared her views saying,
Uber and Microsoft are pioneering companies in their sectors. I do not doubt that initiatives like this will be the protagonists of the intelligent cities that are getting closer.
In Spain’s capital city, the company had previously faced the wrath of authorities for matching private car owners with passengers through a mobile app. This model was opposed in the heavily regulated taxi market which feared competition whereas the govt. was anxious about the rise of pollution due to more on-road vehicles. Madrid which is focused on reducing pollution and car use in the country should be pleased to see Uber come up with an all-electric fleet.
With the launch of an all-electric taxi fleet, Uber wants to please authorities in Madrid which are focused on reducing pollution and car use in the country. The city administration had recently unveiled a handful of new measures aimed at combating pollution, limiting traffic at the city center and even tighter speed limits on access roads, states Reuters.
The company is of the opinion that the launch of their premium environment-friendly service UberONE will encourage the liberalization of cab services in the country. Talking about the same, Carles Lloret, managing director of Uber for southern Europe, says,
We want to do things that are in line with what the town hall wants. We would love to see more licenses awarded in the future, perhaps for greener cars so there could be more in circulation.
This experience will be expanded worldwide in the coming months but Uber is first looking to tap the said market by procuring licenses so that it doesn’t impede their pace of expansion. The company first piloted the electric fleet in partnership with Nissan and China’s BYD in the United Kingdom.
Uber is focused on tackling pollution in cities worldwide but the lack of infrastructure and policies are now hampering its plans of pushing greener and cleaner tech to the frontlines. Thus, it is also planning to popularize self-driving technologies and is conducting public trials in Pittsburgh and San Francisco (which has been halted due to licensing issues).