Uber game puts iPhone users behind the wheel

Uber game puts iPhone users behind the wheel

SAN FRANCISCO - Uber released a free game Thursday that lets iPhone and iPad users test their skills as drivers for the controversial on-demand car ride service.

UberDRIVE launched in the US in Apple's online iTunes shop.

"UberDRIVE showcases a day in the life of an Uber driver-partner," the company said in an online post.

"Players help riders get from A to B and earn high scores for identifying the safest and most efficient routes to their destinations." Game play involves tapping online maps to pick routes, interact with intersections, and pinpoint landmarks. The only setting for the game at launch was San Francisco, where Uber has its headquarters.

High scores will unlock new virtual cars and more neighborhoods to explore, according to Uber.

"UberDRIVE was designed as a fun and engaging resource for our driver-partners to hone their navigation skills if they choose to," Uber said.

"It's also a great way for prospective drivers to experience firsthand what it's like to drive with Uber." Links for applying to drive for Uber in the real world are built into the game.

Uber, which connects passengers to drivers through a smartphone app, has expanded rapidly in recent years but has also faced hurdles from regulators in many locations and protests from traditional taxi services.

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