Skip to Content
Silicon Valley

Uber is jumping into the scooter wars

August 30, 2018

The ride-hailing giant is designing an electric scooter to rent out in cities, competing with services from Bird and Lime, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

But Uber’s all about cars … The company recognizes that scooters and electric bikes are a smarter way to travel short distances within cities. “During rush hour, it is very inefficient for a one-ton hulk of metal to take one person 10 blocks,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times recently. Uber acquired the electric-bike-sharing service Jump Bikes in April and invested in Lime, which rents out bikes and scooters, in July.

What’s next: Uber already lets people book Lime scooters through its app. But it clearly wants to operate its own scooter-sharing service. It has applied to do so in Santa Monica and San Francisco (using scooters it buys from China) and is reportedly developing its own scooter, which it hints would be sturdier and more resistant to vandalism.

Why it matters: Uber’s aggressive move into scooter-sharing shows it intends to dominate that market the way it cornered the ride-hailing business. Its entrance will affect everything from prices and competition to the way residents and local governments react to this new mode of transportation. But cities should benefit from less traffic and reduced carbon emissions if more people choose scooters over cars.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.