Uber is getting into car rentals.
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Uber Rent launches in San Francisco later this month in partnership with Getaround, a service that lets anyone loan out their car starting at $5 an hour. "This will allow us to reach more people and get them to embrace car sharing," Getaround's CEO Sam Zaid in an interview.
Uber and Getaround first teamed up last year to make cars available to Uber drivers; Uber Rent is intended for personal use. It will integrate the interface found in Getaround's mobile app into its own app. Customers will be able to select a car, choose how many hours or days they want to drive it, and use the Uber app to unlock the vehicle with their smartphone.
The upcoming service is part of Uber's push to become a hub for all your transportation needs. In San Francisco, the company has also been piloting a bike-sharing feature with the help of a startup called Jump, which Uber acquired this week.
"Having a greater variety of transportation modes at your fingertips helps make it increasingly easy to live without a car," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.
Zaid added that car sharing and bike sharing are part of a new wave of transportation options becoming available to the public. Getaround launched its on-demand car-sharing service in 2013, and has so far attracted half a million users, most of them renters.
But even as Getaround is available in several US cities including Boston, Chicago and Washington, DC, not everyone knows about it. "I think the biggest challenge for us has been awareness," Zaid said. "People weren't as aware of car sharing."
Zaid is hopeful the Uber partnership will help change that. The plan is to eventually roll out Uber Rent to other cities, but Zaid declined to comment on the specifics. For now, the two companies are focusing on perfecting the service in San Francisco.
"We definitely have very aggressive expansion plans," Zaid said of Getaround, pointing to its recent launch in Los Angeles, and a focus on helping cities reduce traffic and air pollution through car sharing.
"This is important for the country and the world," he added. "As more people move into car sharing, whether through Getaround or the Uber app, it will have a lot of positive benefits for everyone."