SILICON VALLEY - Uber Technologies is adapting its ride-hailing platform into a host of new services, and everyone from regulators to competitors to companies on the fringes of the "Uber ecosystem" are feeling the effects.
Depending on the market, Uber users can now have documents delivered, furniture moved and groceries dropped off, all with a tap of their smartphone.
Among the company's recent offerings is the uberPOOL ride-share service. The service has a few drawbacks -- sharing a car with strangers, a possibly longer ride -- but it costs less than half what a solo Uber ride would. In San Francisco, fares are fixed at $7.
In a matter of minutes, uberPOOL can find people going the same way and dispatch a car to pick them up. Uber rolled out the ride-share service full-scale in San Francisco, New York, Paris and elsewhere last year.
In many ways, uberPOOL is similar to conventional public transportation. But unlike catching the bus, passengers can request a car when they want it, said Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber. Because such a service requires a sufficient numbers of customers and drivers, it would be difficult for other companies to make such a system work, he added.
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