No Cellphone But Need A Lift? UBER Is Now Testing Kiosks At Airports, Starting With Toronto-Pearson!

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UBER is now testing soliciting it’s services at airports for arriving international travelers without a cellphone and has installed stationary kiosks at Toronto-Pearson Airport from which passengers can order their rides.

Customers using this service as a one off will not require an active UBER account and can facilitate payment at the machine via credit card.

You can access UBER’s information page about ride hailing at Toronto YYZ Airport here.

The website doesn’t mention a word about these kiosks despite it’s already airing on national TV. Makes you wonder how serious the company takes this project.

I picked this up from a local television show that featured these new installations:

I’d love to see something on UBER’s website that actually provides a tutorial of how these machines work in terms of facilitating payment, updating the customer or resolving potential problems with the ride.

There is of course free wifi at Pearson Airport so not sure how many people who would actually consider a ride share service do not carry a cellphone with them!?

Developing these machines and renting a space for them at a major airport such as Toronto certainly didn’t come cheap.

A test trial is all nice and well but is this going to be another money burning exercise of a company that has already incurred massive losses? The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018 and $2.2 billion in 2017 with revenues north of $10 billion. The only profits the company ever made stem from their sales of operations in markets where they sold the field to competitors (China, Russia, South East Asia) for $12.5 billion combined.

How much revenue and – going back to UBER’s financials – profit can these machines really drive after all costs are considered?

Conclusion

I like to use UBER and other ride share options wherever offered because of the convenience to order and track the transaction from my cellphone. Assuming I’d land somewhere and suddenly I found my cellphone was dead I’d probably just get a cab or public transport. And that’s coming from someone who is already familiar with the service.

There is no information whatsoever about this service in the instructions for both customers or drivers using UBER’s own resources. They have likely poured millions into this trial and didn’t even bother to update their website prior to it going live. Priorities well set!

Would you use or recommend others to facilitate these machines if rolled out at more locations?

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