Uber Expands Service in the United States

Category: Business

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rent out / rɛnt aʊt / (phrasal) – to let someone temporarily use someone else’s property for a fee
    Example:

    Our family rents out our vacation house to tourists every summer.


  2. test the waters / tɛst ðə ˈwɒt ərz / (idiom) – to test something to find out how people would react to it
    Example:

    My sister tested the waters before opening a bakeshop by selling some pastries to her friends first.


  3. roster / ˈrɒs tər / (n) – a list of people or things that belong to a group
    Example:

    The company’s roster of awards includes “Best Startup of 2018” and “Most Innovative Company.”


  4. exponential / ˌɛk spoʊˈnɛn ʃəl / (adj) – very fast
    Example:

    The businessman became a billionaire in only five years because of his company’s exponential growth.


  5. bounce back / baʊns bæk / (idiom) – to recover from a loss or injury   
    Example:

    The company bounced back from last year’s losses by launching a successful product this year.


Article

Read the text below.

Multinational ride-sharing company Uber has added a new car-renting service in the United States.


Uber has recently partnered with Getaround, a San Francisco-based startup that lets private car owners rent out their cars to customers through a mobile app.


By collaborating with Getaround, Uber launched a new service called Uber Rent, which makes cars from Getaround available to Uber users through the Uber app. According to Uber’s CEO, the company will test the waters first in San Francisco before making the service available all over the country.


The new Uber Rent joins the company’s growing roster of services, which include carpooling service, UberPool, and food delivery service, UberEats. Since Uber’s establishment in 2009, its global growth had been exponential.


However, the company experienced a $4.5 billion loss in 2017 after being involved in some controversies and legal cases. Now, Uber is trying to bounce back from these losses through several new initiatives.


In addition to Uber Rent, the startup has other new services to offer this year. Uber has collaborated with a number of other companies to further expand its range of transportation services.


For instance, Uber launched Uber Bike together with JUMP, a New York-based startup that allows people to rent electric bikes. Uber also collaborated with London-based company Masabi. The London startup lets users book tickets for public transportation through their smartphones. Uber is still looking into how to incorporate Masabi’s services to its own line of offerings.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What do you think are the possible challenges of Uber’s new car-renting service (e.g. ensuring good condition of cars)? Discuss.
• Do you think Uber’s car-renting service would be profitable in your country? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what makes the collaboration of two companies successful? Discuss.
• Do you think that a company can only be successful if it collaborates with another business? Explain.

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