After a disastrous attempt with autonomous driving technology, Uber Technologies launched electric scooter sharing with the recent purchase of Jump. The company is now offering free to use scooters until this weekend in an attempt to penetrate the competitor’s market share wall.
Also, Uber is now gearing up for the launch of its bike-sharing programs, which are expected to kick-start across Europe this quarter. Uber is also exploring bike-sharing business opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, except China, where it sold its ride-hailing business to rival Didi Chuxing two years ago.
Uber’s purchase of Jump for over $100 million is expected to give the company a competitive edge in the urban transportation sector. Executive chief Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is hoping to bring as many electric bicycles and scooters on the road as Uber cabs over the next decade.
Khosrowshahi recently stated that Uber wants to become like Amazon (AMZN) in the transportation industry. The CEO sees great opportunity in electric two-wheelers as he believes most people would stay away from owning cars in the next 10 years due to increasing awareness of greenhouse emissions.
The company has taken the first step in giving competition to rivals Lime and Bird by rolling out its first electric Jump scooter in Santa Monica. These companies have a significant advantage over Uber as they have been operating for around a year.
Similar to other companies, Jump’s electric scooter can be parked anywhere in the service area and the rider needs to scan the scooter’s barcode on their phone to start riding it. The base price has been fixed at $1, with each extra minute costing 15 cents. Uber assumes that most rides end up costing $2 to $4.
Electric scooters are not devoid of controversies. With speeds up to 18 miles per hour, there are chances of tripping or hitting pedestrians. However, the collaboration of urban transportation with electric vehicle adoption is likely to push the industry through these concerns.