Uber spoke in our first ever ‘Smart City’ stream at Transport Ticketing Global 2017.
The disruptive role of the app-based taxi company has completely changed not only how people travel but how they expect to access, pay and interact with transport operators. Though a private transport mode, Uber has dominated urban centres around the world, rivalling it to existing public transport networks. Uber saw the customer pain points in travel and have addressed it with their on-going commitment to ‘finding better ways for cities to move, work, and thrive’
We were delighted to have Vidit Agrawal, Head of Strategic Vehicle Partnerships, APAC at Uber, join us at Transport Ticketing Global 2017 to discuss how Uber was ‘Creating a smart city to solve passenger problems’.
We caught up with Vidit to find out a little bit more ahead of the 2017 show:
Zehra: How does Uber adapt and evolve payments and strategy to deliver a superior offering in fiercely competitive markets?
Vidit: Uber is a global company operating in over 80 countries and 500 cities. Even with such a huge coverage, Uber still remains local enough in every market to make sure it fully understands its customer's needs and customise its products to solve local problems. This strategy gives us advantage over our competitors as Uber's scale helps us to use our global learnings and at the same time serve the needs of the people in each city.
Zehra: What are the differing regional attitudes to in-app payments between EMEA, Asia and the Americas markets?
Vidit: As Uber has grown in different parts of the world, we have seen different customer preferences when it comes to in-app payments. This has led to various solutions which are more region specific.
Though traditionally Uber used credit card payments which was majorly successful in EMEA and North America, we soon realized that regions like South America, India, China and South East India, with low credit card penetration, required unique solutions.
This has led to in-app wallet solutions like Alipay (China) and Paytm (India). Also, based on customer feedback we realized that cash is still the preferred option in most developing nations and therefore we introduced cash payments.
Zehra: How do you think Uber has changed transport commerce for passengers?
Vidit: Transport industry has been devoid of any changes for many decades with old redundant laws. By introducing technology Uber has disrupted the transportation industry and given users the choice to decide their preferred mode of transport.
Recently, we launched UberPool which matches customers going in the same direction and promotes the idea of ride sharing. With cars being shared, the total number of vehicles on the roads has decreased thus solving one of the biggest problems of today- traffic congestion.
Zehra: How does Uber see it has and is changing mobile app behaviour and future plans?
Vidit: Uber has changed the way people think of public transport. Today a comfortable and affordable ride is just a click away. It has brought technology at the forefront of all decision making and made transport an experience rather than just a ride.
Today all car manufacturers are moving towards autonomous vehicles and Uber is one of the first movers and leaders in this technology. With the recent introduction of driverless taxis in Pittsburgh, Uber has got closer to the dream of autonomous cars that will be much cheaper and safer than the taxis of today.
Zehra: How do you see yourselves interlinking with public transport?
Vidit: Uber plays multiple roles today. In some parts of the world where proper public transport does not exist, Uber is the only solution for its riders to move around their cities. In other cities Uber is seen at the last mile solution for train/bus riders. Also with the introduction of Pool, Uber is often the cheapest and fastest mode of transport.
With greater penetration of technology, existing public transport will improve its standard and digitalize its approach to be competitive in today's world.
Uber is right at the forefront on making our ability to navigate urban areas more intelligent. As a tech company they are leading the way in new innovation and trialling the ‘next big thing’ in passenger transport. Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick has placed his next bets on the future of smart travel: - letting riders heading the same way share an Uber and save, this has the potential to be as affordable as taking a subway, or a bus, or other means of transportation
UberPool - letting riders heading the same way share an Uber and save, this has the potential to be as affordable as taking a subway, or a bus, or other means of transportation
|Estimate of miles saved in June 2015 from all UberPool rides in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and Paris||Metric tons of carbon dioxide saved from those shared rides||Number of UberPool cars that could serve the same number of people and trips that those 1.95 million private cars do|
Driverless Cars - "When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle," Kalanick said at a conference last year. "And then car ownership goes away."
|Cost per mile to own, operate, and park a personal car||Cost per mile to use a shared self-driving car service||Cost per mile to use a shared self-driving car service using one- to two-occupant vehicles|
|Fewer cars that are on the roads at peak hours in a city that has shared self-driving cars plus mass transit||Fewer cars that are on the roads at peak hours in a city that has shared self-driving cars but no mass transit|
It’s clear a global vision for public transport has been set; intelligent, interconnected, sustainable, inclusive and cost-effective for both users and operators. So how do we achieve that as an industry, both private and public transport together?
Transport Ticketing Global 2018, the annual get together for the entire public transport community involved in smart ticketing, will be looking to answer this question. Through a number of case studies from operators from each continent, in-depth industry debates and panel discussions, this gathering will act as a platform for transport executives to set the agenda towards the global vision for transport.
With over 80 exhibitors showcasing cutting edge technology in intelligent travel, the exhibition hall is the one place where you can scope the entire market place of solutions and technology available.
Transport Ticketing Global: Welcome to the world’s largest public transport gathering for growing intelligent transport ticketing, passenger information systems and smart cities
Register for the 2019 Event Here
- "Urban Mobility System Upgrade," International Transport Forum, 2015; "Travel and Environmental Implications of a Shared Automated Fleet, with Varying Levels of Dynamic Ridesharing," University of Texas at Austin, July 2015
- Uber; "Quantifying the benefits of vehicle pooling shareability networks," Senseable City Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, September 2014; U.S. Energy Information Administration