Arrival, Uber Partner to Come Out With Electric Ride-Hailing Car
The majority of tech companies are looking into coming out with purpose-built vehicles. Whether it's delivering packages like Amazon and the USPS or ferrying passengers around like Waymo, tech companies have been partnering with automakers and automotive suppliers to manufacture vehicles for their specific needs. While Uber has been using Volvos to test its autonomous technology, the tech company has partnered with UK-based electric-vehicle startup Arrival to work on a "purpose-built" electric vehicle for ride-hailing purposes.
Uber Partners With Arrival
Founded in 2015, Arrival is an electric van and bus maker out of Britain that has some pretty big orders for its vehicles. Last year, Arrival received an order for up to 10,000 vans from the UPS. Additionally, Arrival has received backing from Hyundai and Kia. So, while Arrival isn't a well-known name, the startup knows how to build cars and has the backing to do so.
Arrival's electric car that it's working on Uber to build is expected to arrive before the end of 2023 and will not be exclusive to Uber. Instead, the startup claims that the EV will appeal to other ride-hailing drivers, which leads us to believe that the company will sell the vehicle to consumers and other ride-hailing companies. The two companies have released a few renderings of what the upcoming electric vehicle's interior will look like. The companies will get drivers involved in the design process before coming out with a final interior design by the end of 2021.
Down To Earth Design
While some companies have penned radical interior designs that maximize interior space or allow passengers to have conferences with one another thanks to swinging seats, the renderings reveal a more subdued design. In fact, it almost feels familiar. The horizontal dashboard is dominated by a massive central touchscreen, mimicking Tesla's design. The only abnormal feature in the rendering is the phone holder that sits to the right of the steering wheel on the dashboard. Arrival and Uber will ditch a traditional instrument cluster and the new age of button-heavy steering wheels.
According to Arrival, there are a few elements that will make the upcoming electric vehicle more enjoyable for drivers and riders. The company claims that the driver's seat is ergonomically designed and supportive enough to provide drivers with a comfortable place to sit for hours on end. The front passenger seat can fold up to create more legroom, while the bench-style rear seat has been designed to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. Passengers will also find lit cubbies and handrails on the inside of the electric vehicle.
Electric vehicles make plenty of sense for ride-hailing companies, as they're more reliable, require less maintenance, and are also compliant with zero-emission zones that cities and countries across the world have adopted. We'll have to wait and see what kind of final design Arrival and Uber bring to market, but the partnership, and the initial renderings of the vehicle, make plenty of sense.
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