Uber is slowly working towards full automation of its vehicles, but the fruition of that technology is still probably a couple of years away. For now, they seem to be focusing on taking over the taxi industry, which has caused a decent amount of anger in various cities around the world. Now, the company is looking to reduce that outward hate in Madrid by releasing its first fleet of electric vehicles into the wild.
Uber is hoping that using electric vehicles in the city will help to improve the vision of the company in the public eye, as Madrid is run by the very environmentally mayor, Manuela Carmena. The city has just recently introduced a variety of new measures to reduce pollution, so introducing a number of new electric Uber vehicles plays very well in line with the city’s vision.
Uber was initially taken off the streets of Madrid in 2014 when a judge ruled that they introduced unfair competition, but were able to return with their new UberX service in April of this year, when it required its drivers to be professionally licensed.
The introduction of the electric vehicles will also bring a new service for the company, UberONE. These cars will have extra features that most Uber vehicles don’t include, such as internet service available within the vehicle itself. This option will obviously be a premium service, but should help the city to be a little more lenient on the company overall. It currently has very restrictive licences in the area the keep it from expanding to the point it would like to.
“We would love to see more licenses awarded in the future, perhaps for greener cars so there could be more in circulation,” says Carles Loret, the Managing Director for Uber in southern Europe.
Uber says they aren’t too far off from fully automated transportation, so there’s a chance we might see the company skipping UberONE entirely in other regions. Would you like to see something like this show up before driverless vehicles take over the world?