Uber adds vaccine booking, car rental delivery in new product push

Uber is launching more than two and a half dozen new features, one of which allows users to book vaccine appointments at Walgreen and save a journey to get their job, as it houses companies as a business model that will finally make a profit. These features, announced Wednesday, are part of what Uber is describing as its “go-to” strategy. This marks a return to more “normal” business activities after a 14-month shutdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Vaccine booking, valet service that will leave a rental car, rides reserved at the airport that include an hour-long wait, and food pick-up options on a rideshare route, among many other features centered around Uber’s core services and ride-healing. In early 2020, Uber Air Taxis and self-driving cars, delivery, ridesharing, a freight booking platform and shared ebike and scooter rentals covered a kind of web that looks like any other business.

Over the past year, Uber has dropped its shared micromobility unit, loaded its autonomous air taxi business Uber Elevate, sold its Uber ATG self-driving unit, and sold its partner Uber Freight in its logistics arm. (Uber maintains equity in all of these businesses). It’s not just about moving towards business. During this same period, Uber doubled in terms of riders and supplies – achieved in the Postmate and drizzle process – with a bet that these two fields would be the best way to profit. Uber’s Go Pan initiative is a continuation of that strategy. Meanwhile, COVID-19’s rideshare is declining – along with competitors – as well as business with the delivery explosion.

“Over the past year, the company has transformed into a platform where we’re doing two things with incredible focus and incredible intensity,” Uber CPO Sundeep Jain said in a recent interview. “And they’re helping users ‘go’ and ‘get’ users. We’ve really created this platform where you can go anywhere, get anything.” For Uber, this means creating products that allow people to “get” something, from cars and scooters to buses and other forms of public transportation, or from ready-to-eat meals and most recently groceries, prescriptions and alcohol.

This “go” and “get” guideline is affecting the company’s product development and even acquisition strategy. With the acquisition of Uber’s Postmate, the company even provided iPhones, Jain cited as an example. New features include Uber Rental with Wallet, which allows U.S. users to rent a car directly on the Uber app. The car is then delivered to the user, at their home or airport. The agency’s Uber reserve feature now runs across the United States and includes flight tracking, a wait time of 60 minutes and a curbside pickup.