Uber uses drones to taunt drivers stuck in traffic

As if being stuck in gridlock traffic isn’t enough, Uber has been teasing drivers with ads for its services suspended by drones.
Motorists in Mexico City have seen the flying ad boards hover serenely past their windscreens on the static highways as part of the ride-hailing app’s push into Latin American markets.
The cardboard plaques, suspended from quadcopters, have been highlighting the capital’s congestion misery to promote Uber’s carpooling service, UberPool.
Mexico City has some of the worst traffic congestion in the world, with the city’s 21 million inhabitants piling into vehicles for the daily commute. Keen to exploit the problem of too many cars carrying too few passengers, Uber’s campaign in the city earlier this year had lone drivers in its sights.
One of the advertisements read:’ The city would be for you, not for the 5.5 million cars.’  While another read: ‘Going solo? This is why you can never see the volcanoes’, a jab referring to the traffic-related smog which obscures views of the region’s two peaks
Air quality in the city is at a low, with the capital having ‘acceptable’ air quality for just 26 days in the first half of the year. This has led to the government prohibiting drivers from using their cars on set days. According to Bloomberg, Uber operates in 65 cities in Latin America and plans to double the figure by the end of 2016.
The firm has been increasingly creative in its expansion efforts and is even exploring other technological avenues to future proof its services.
Recently, head of products at Uber, Jeff Holden, told Recode he has been researching the idea of self-driving drones, so the company ‘can someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around.’
Mr Holden said landing on top of buildings in cities would help reduce commuting time and congestion dramatically.
He said the technology could be in use as soon as the next ten years.
Via: Daily Mail

Uber Lets People Write Valentine’s Day Notes In The Sky

For Valentine’s Day, Uber teamed up with Mastercard and Airsign to bring an on-demand skywriting service to its users in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Diego.
For $500, users could request an UberSKY love letter powered by MasterCard Priceless Surprises. Users had the chance to go beyond the usual flowers and cards and send a Valentine’s Day message written in the sky.
The service was available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on February 14th. Hopeless romantics who wanted to go all out just needed to click on the UberSky option on their app, confirm the $500 fee, and then wait for an Uber representative to call. The Uber rep took down the message, which could only be 12 characters max, and let the user know when they could expect their message.
People could also join in on the fun by taking photos of the UberSKY messages and then tweeting them with the hashtag #SkysTheLimit.
Via: psfk