Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Uber: Not Just Cars -- All Transportation All the Time

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Unless you are living on another planet, you are quite familiar with how to summon an Uber car on an app on your phone so that an Uber driver can pick you up and drive you to the destination of your choice. But Uber is not content with just this form of transportation. Indeed, Uber has grand dreams of being an all-encompassing hub for many types of transportation. Let's take a look at some of these transportation offerings.

Uber recently has entered into the business of freight. Indeed, with Uber Freight, truck drivers using an app can find and accept the transport of freight of various types and quantities of materials across long and shorter distances.

Uber also has operated helicopters in southern France since a couple years ago. Furthermore, the company launched UberCHOPPER in Dubai several years ago, and this was put in service after that in the Netherlands for transportation to a music festival. Uber has bigger plans for commuter flights in major cities to avoid traffic jams on the highways.

Last year, Uber offered a boat service in Egypt on a short-term basis. Uber reportedly now is providing that service in Croatia.

Uber has not yet offered public transit integrations. However, Uber has partnered with one public transit ticketing company; this can allow users to buy transit tickets with the Uber app. Uber very well may roll this out with other public transit ticketing companies.

And there is more. Uber India providers motorcycle rides. Just like requesting a car using the Uber app, users can ask for a motorcycle driver and they can ride on the back of motorcycles. And the drivers provide helmets for the riders!

Uber also has sought a permit to operate and provide scooters in San Francisco. This could be quite beneficial in cities with very crowded streets from car traffic.

Moreover, Uber recently declared that it is purchasing Jump Bikes, and electric bike company. Jump already operates in various cities, like San Francisco and Washington D.C., and it offers dockless bike sharing.

And yes there is a bit more -- rickshaws! In Pakistan and India, Uber users can request a rickshaw for a cheap ride.

Uber exploded with disruptive force when it launched its automobile ride sharing service, and it is clear that Uber is not content to remain in just that market. Evidently, Uber wants to be all transportation all the time.

Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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