Uber has a new infotainment system coming to its ride-sharing platform in India that appears to be a direct competitor to a similar system called 'Ola Play' launched by the most popular rideshare service provider in the country, Ola. According to sources close to the company, Uber will launch its still unannounced and still unnamed system across several of its vehicle tiers later this year. As to the system itself, test units spotted in select Uber vehicles show that it is designed to run on Android tablets located within easy reach of Uber customers within drivers' vehicles. From there, riders can access the kinds of media one might expect from a vehicle-based connected infotainment system. Of course, it would be a good idea to take the news, despite that it is already being tested in the country, with a grain of salt until the company officially reveals the system through some kind of announcement. Testing does not necessarily equate to widespread implementation.
As it currently stands in testing, Ubers infotainment system already supports quite a few functions. In India, Uber partnered with Cabby Tabby – though sources say that the partnership is not exclusive. The system features several entertainment media applications for music, comedy, shows, and movies. That includes services from Hungama, The Viral Fever, and Scool Whoop. Additionally, consumers will have updates on weather and mapping services for ready access to popular sights, movies, malls, eateries, temples and parks, and live updates for flight statuses. Uber is even expected to offer coupon deals for a range of services and products associated with its system exclusive to riders. If those wide ranging uses seem paltry, more functionality could make its way to the system before its final launch and the Uber will almost certainly look to continue adding enhancements long after release.
Fortunately, although its infotainment tablets are currently only expected for India – likely because of the competing service available within the country – the company could easily move to make the system standard in many other countries where it could gain a competitive edge. Uber's current solution to user experience improvement, which is only available in select markets, requires customers to use their own devices and is fairly limited. Having the new system, with services and apps catered specifically for the appropriate part of the world and built right into the vehicles themselves, would be a massive improvement to that. It would save customers' battery life and allow a more immersive overall experience. That is especially true if the company can launch the system on a more global scale before Ola does. Whether or not any of that actually comes to fruition remains to be seen. In the meantime, the source has included a video of the alleged system to YouTube, which can be viewed below.