Uber has launched an on-demand auto-rental service in India, the service is currently available in Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

This service will allow customers to book an auto and the driver for several hours, and also make multiple stops during the journey. The company has introduced this service with the aim to target Indian audience as the idea is India-centric.

Prices for the new service would start at INR 169/hour for a 10 km package. Customers would have the option of selecting packages for multiple hours, running up to a maximum of eight hours. 

Earlier this year, Uber also introduced Customer to Customer (C2C) logistics service called ‘Uber Connect’ which allows the residents to send and receive items from each other within city limits.

It has also partnered with companies like Big Basket, Spencers, Nature’s Basket, Flipkart and Medlife for last minute delivery of items. Last month, it was reported that Uber was working to expand its last-mile business to customer (B2C) and customer to customer (C2C) logistics service, to offset the fall in revenue from the traditional ride-hailing service amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The launch of the auto rental service also comes at a time when Uber’s core rides business in India is yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had earlier this month said markets in Asia barring India were seeing a revival. Ride-hailing firms like Uber and Ola have seen a sharp dip in cab bookings as companies have allowed employees to work from home and people restricted non-essential movements.

Public transportation in India remained suspended during the first phase of the lockdown and was only permitted to operate with partial relaxations beginning May.

Announcing the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call, Uber had said: “We’re also adding auto rickshaws and motorbikes since we expect many riders in emerging markets to shift from public mini-buses toward these lower-cost options.”

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