Uber are looking to put in place more long-term working relationships with fellow private hire operators, and not work against them, according to new tech firm acquisition Autocab.
The comments come following the shock announcement that Uber has entered into an agreement to acquire UK technology company Autocab.
Autocab currently provides private hire and taxi operators with technology to run their business, including booking and dispatch software, and also connects them with trips through their iGo marketplace.
Through Autocab’s iGo marketplace, Uber will now hope to connect customers in places the company doesn’t operate, giving local operators the choice to take their booking. In turn, Uber hopes that operators could be able to expand their operations and offer more earnings opportunities to local drivers.
Uber will also explore providing drivers with additional revenue opportunities related to its platform for other services, such as delivery.
Since the announcement there has been much discussion within the industry about the deal. According to an Autocab spokesperson on social media today, ride-hailing firm Uber are “looking to establish long-term relationships by working with, rather than against the private hire industry”.
In the social media message Autocab pose 'Myth verses Reality‘. Hoping to debunk the 'myth' that ”Uber are just out for themselves”, they say: “Uber are looking to with, rather than against the private hire industry. By working in partnership, operators can grow, Autocab can grow and Uber can grow.”
In an open letter made to customers, Gavan Walsh, iCabbie CEO and Founder, shared his thoughts on the deal and the implications it may have on the taxi and private hire industry.
Walsh wrote: “Autocab customers are being baited with the short-term promise of additional bookings, but taking this bait ultimately hands power over to Uber and strengthens their hand as they continue in their efforts to bring about the demise of the independent taxi industry.”
Walsh went on to add: “Just now, as a number of significant court cases that could signal Uber’s withdrawal from the UK are about to conclude, Autocab throws them a life-line.”