Taxi aggregator Uber has temporarily shut down its Uber Auto service, which debuted in April in New Delhi this year.
Launched as a cash-only service based on government approved metered fare, UberAuto’s service wasn’t extended beyond the Indian capital and was quietly removed from the app a fortnight ago.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed the development to Gadgets 360 with the following statement.
“At Uber, we continuously experiment with products to ensure that we can provide the most efficient, affordable and convenient ride to everyone everywhere. We are temporarily removing this product to solve specific problems that need to be resolved to help it scale.”
On Twitter, Uber India’s handle responded to customer queries by saying that it was run as an experiment in Delhi, and has been discontinued for now.
According to the latest figures quoted by Ola Cabs, it has around 65-70,000 autos on its platform across Indian six cities – Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune, over 16,000 auto rickshaws in Delhi. Ola also integrates with Kaali-Peeli cabs in Mumbai and Kolkata.
In an emailed fact sheet, Ola said it will be expanding its auto service to three new cities by the end of the year, and that 50 percent of payments for Ola Auto rides are done through Ola Money.
Chandigarh-based auto-rickshaw aggregator Jugnoo quoted a fleet of 3,300 autos under its brand during its latest funding round in November.
Ola, Didi, Lyft, and GrabTaxi announced that they are forming a global ridesharing partnership to take on Uber last week, as an extension to the strategic partnership between Lyft and Didi Kuaidi, formed earlier in September.
Uber launched its UberASSIST program to provide additional assistance to the elderly and disabled, with operations starting in Delhi in India last week.