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Engadget

Uber is finally available in Tokyo as a taxi service


Uber is a mainstay in numerous giant cities, but it hasn’t had a foothold in Tokyo — a combination of strict limits on ridesharing and public wariness has kept it out of Japan’s best-known metropolis. Now, however, it’s part of the landscape. Bloomberg reports that Uber has launched its first service in Tokyo despite operating in Japan for about six years. This isn’t ridesharing, though. Instead, it’s offering Uber Taxi through 600 vehicles in the central business district as well as popular city areas like Akihabara, Asakusa and Shinagawa. Read More

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TechCrunch

After losing Grubhub, Uber reportedly hails Postmates – TechCrunch


Uber has reportedly made an offer to buy food delivery service Postmates, according to The New York Times.

According to the Times, the talks are still ongoing and the deal could fall through.

For those that have been paying attention to Uber, this appetite is not new, albeit consistent. A little over a month ago, the ride-hailing company was reportedly pursuing an acquisition of Grubhub,  another food delivery company. Grubhub was ultimately acquired by Just Eat Takeaway in a $7.3 billion deal, but only after the deal with Uber fell through over a variety of concerns. Read More

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The Verge

Uber offers to buy out Postmates, says NYT


Uber has made an offer to buy food delivery company Postmates, according to a report in The New York Times. The report doesn’t say how big the deal would be, but it could be finalized as soon as tonight; discussions are said to be ongoing.

Demand for Uber’s ride-hailing business has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic as people stay at home, but the same circumstances have driven a huge increase in food delivery orders. Uber has been looking for ways to boost its food service, Uber Eats, after laying off more than a quarter of the company’s overall workforce. Read More

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Engadget

Uber is reportedly trying to buy Postmates


It’s no secret as to why Uber might want to buy Postmates. This would expand its food deliveries and help offset tanking demand for its core ridesharing business. It would also counter Just Eat’s acquisition of GrubHub. We’d add that the two companies are political allies — both are trying to thwart California’s gig worker law and keep their couriers as contractors rather than full employees.

For Postmates, a deal might be crucial. The company hasn’t fared as well against its heavyweight rivals, and Uber could either rejuvenate the brand or fold it into Uber Eats. While it wouldn’t be the independent success Postmates might have hoped for, it would be better than falling behind the better-financed competition. Read More

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Tech Radar

Helwa aims to become Uber of Middle East for saving money


Whether you’re buying clothes, groceries or consumer electronics, make sure you never overpay again and stop searching for promo codes to save money.

Dubai-based tech startup – Helwa – has launched a browser extension, or add-on, for Chrome and a mobile app to find discount coupons from your favourite online shopping sites and automatically inserts them during checkout, thus saving money.

Helwa means sweet in Hindi and Arabic.

The venture is started by two tech journalists – Hitesh Uchil and Abbas Jaffar Ali – who have come out during these unprecedented times to help buyers save every penny, all under one roof and without downloading countless apps. Read More

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The Next Web

Uber will soon let people in California book accessible minibus rides with public transit deal

This article was originally published by Sarah Wray on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

Uber’s software will power on-demand public transport services through a new deal in California with the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) and the bus agency Marin Transit.

Although Uber already displays public transport data in its app and has enabled ticket purchases in some locations, this move represents its first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tie-up with a public transport agency. Read More

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The Verge

California seeks to force Uber and Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees within weeks


California is seeking to force Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers as employees, in a dramatic escalation of the state’s months-long war with the gig economy companies.

In May, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, sued Uber and Lyft, arguing that their drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they should be employees under the state’s AB5 law that went into effect on January 1st.

Now, Becerra plans to file a motion for a preliminary injunction that would compel the ride-hailing companies to reclassify drivers as employees within weeks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A spokesperson for Becerra didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Read More

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VentureBeat

Waymo and Uber propose AI techniques to improve self-driving systems


During a workshop on autonomous driving at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2020, Waymo and Uber presented research to improve the reliability — and safety — of their self-driving systems. Waymo principal scientist Drago Anguelov detailed ViDAR, a camera and range-centric framework covering scene geometry, semantics, and dynamics. Raquel Urtasun, chief scientist at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, demonstrated a pair of technologies that leverage vehicle-to-vehicle communication for navigation, traffic modeling, and more. Read More

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The Next Web

Uber and Waymo expected to share autonomous vehicle test data with public in new tool


In an attempt to quell public skepticism of self-driving vehicles, the government body that oversees national highway safety in the US is asking manufacturers to share their autonomous driving test data.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is today unveiling the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (or AV TEST), Reuters reports. (The AV TEST website is currently live, but a cached version can be accessed.)

[Read: Demand for scooters trebles as Brits look to avoid public transport] Read More

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Mashable

Pay a little more and Uber Eats will deliver faster


If you’ve ever ordered a burger on Uber Eats and impatiently watched the app tracker as your meal was submitted, processed, cooked, and finally picked up for delivery, there’s a new feature to speed up the process.

The food delivery app added a Priority Delivery option on Monday. For an additional 99 cents to $2, you can make sure your delivery driver handles your order first before dropping off another order in the queue. It’s supposed to guarantee anywhere from five to 10 minutes less waiting time.  Read More