Crash suspends Uber driverless tests as LeasePlan, Uber announce ridesharing partnership
27 March 2017
A crash that left one of its self-driving vehicles flipped on its side has led Uber to suspend self-driving car tests in Arizona. They will also be paused in Pittsburgh. The Uber vehicle was not responsible for the incident and there were no injuries, according to Tempe police, with the other vehicle failing to give way. The incident will be unwelcome news as LeasePlan yesterday announced a pan-European ridesharing partnership with Uber.
This collaboration across 23 countries follows existing partnerships between LeasePlan and Uber drivers in France, Portugal and the Netherlands, and LeasePlan has now signed a memorandum of understanding to offer full operational leasing services to Uber partner-drivers across Europe.
In addition to the leased vehicles, LeasePlan aims to allow Uber drivers to focus on their core business by providing a wide suite of services from repairs and maintenance to insurance.
LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning said: ‘Uber’s core business is to connect drivers with passengers through advanced technology. Providing cars and keeping them on the road is our expertise, so we’re very well placed to help drivers meet that need.’
The collaboration is most established in Portugal, with hundreds of Uber-partner drivers leasing a LeasePlan vehicle.
Uber EMEA head Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty said: ‘Every week, Uber connects tens of thousands of drivers across Europe with economic opportunities at the touch of a button. But sometimes access to a car can be challenging. With this partnership, we want to ensure drivers are able to get the best deals on the market, and make driving with the Uber app as seamless as possible.’
The move signals the significant growth opportunities for leasing companies due to the rising popularity of on-demand mobility. Uber is active in more than 100 cities across Europe.
Photograph courtesy of istock