Tag Archives: Tests
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Uber is testing a service in Nairobi that was inspired by residents’ use of the platform for errands and aims to tap into a new segment of the city’s active ride-hailing market, a regional executive said on Monday.
Amid the minibuses, safari 4x4s, taxis and Ubers on the roads of Kenya’s capital, tiny, boxy Suzuki (7269.T) Altos are popping up. They are emblazoned with stickers reading “Uber Chap Chap”, and a slogan in Kiswahili that translates as “Arrive Faster, Save Money”.
That offer is exactly why 24-year-old lawyer Brian Mwirigi said he clicked the new “Chap Chap” option on his Uber app last week when he noticed that his short trip to deliver documents to a client would cost 100 Kenyan shillings ($ 1) less than with the standard “uberX”.
“It was a bit cramped, but for the price you’re paying, it doesn’t really matter,” he said, adding that he intends to use Chap Chap for trips downtown and in adjacent neighborhoods where it is available during the pilot.
Nairobians such as Mwirigi, who looks for a bargain when hailing a ride on his phone and will shop around, are one of the targets of Chap Chap, Uber’s East Africa general manager Loic Amado said in an interview.
“It’s about giving people choices,” he said. “Kenyans specifically are very open to adapting to new things and are very creative in using Uber for different things.”
The test phase began three weeks ago. More than 200 Altos have hit the roads.
Kenya is Uber’s second-largest market in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa. It competes against its global rival Taxify, which has gained popularity in Nairobi in the past year but does not disclose numbers of active riders and users. The Kenyan app Little said in September it has close to the 5,000 drivers that Uber boasts.
Nairobi is the first city in Africa in which Uber has piloted the low-cost, quick-trip option using small, brand-new vehicles.
If the positive response is sustained, he said, Uber will consider introducing Chap Chap across Nairobi and in the capitals of neighboring Uganda and Tanzania, Amado said.
Uber partnered with a local Suzuki dealer that imported 300 cars. Kenyan bank Stanbic arranged the financing so drivers with high ratings could opt in to the new service and own their Alto in three years.
The company noticed people were using Uber for errands, such as sending packages from office to office or for bank runs.
“There wasn’t a price point that was so affordable or attractive to do these shorter errands,” Amado said. The lower price is possible because the Alto is, at 25 km per liter, twice as fuel-efficient as the average car an Uber driver uses, he said.
There is another possible market.
Several Nairobians told Reuters they commute to work downtown in packed minibuses but hail Ubers for emergencies.
Harrison Iratenga, a security guard, said Uber had enabled his wife to deliver their third child at a hospital. “Our first two were born at home, before Uber was invented.”
The cheaper option could make it possible for him to use Uber more frequently, he said, as an Alto with the Chap Chap sticker cruised by.
The new service won’t suit everyone, including middle-class Kenyans who see their car as part of their personal style.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those,” said Mark Kuria, a 45-year-old civil servant dressed dapperly in a well-cut suit.
Reporting by Maggie Fick; Editing by Dale Hudson
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has tested its first driverless car on public roads, it said on Friday, as carmakers race against each other and tech firms to tap into new technologies.
Last October, a pod heavily adapted from a compact Renault car was the first autonomous car to take to Britain’s streets as part of government-backed trials aimed at seeing more widespread use of such vehicles by 2020.
Politicians are trying to make it as easy as possible to test new driving technologies in Britain, seeking to build an industry to serve a worldwide market expected to be worth around 900 billion pounds ($ 1.2 trillion) by 2025.
An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is currently being debated in parliament to set out how new technologies will operate in Britain.
JLR hopes the testing will allow it to understand more about how self-driving vehicles interact with other cars and road infrastructure such as traffic lights and how models can replicate human behavior whilst driving.
“By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” said Nick Rogers, the firm’s Executive Director for Product Engineering.
The testing is taking place in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, where JLR is headquartered. Trials will continue into next year.
Major automakers are seeking to head off the challenge not just from each other but also from technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, which is also developing autonomous vehicles.
Waymo said earlier this month that it will launch a ride-hailing service with no human behind the steering wheel and has been testing the fully self-driving cars on public roads in the U.S. state of Arizona.
($ 1 = 0.7548 pounds)
Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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Although the iPhone’s ‘s’ models aren’t normally as hype-worthy as the full version upgrades, one thing you can always expect out of them is top notch performance. This year’s iPhone 6s, however, has the special honor of being as powerful as one of Apple’s newest laptops, the 2015 MacBook. John Gruber from Daring Fireball benchmarked the iPhone 6S using Geerkbench 3, a multi-platform testing tool designed to measure overall computer performance. Needless to say, the results are impressive. The phone’s A9 chip can outperform or beat the $ 1300 1.1 Ghz MacBook, and nearly go head to head with the 1.3Ghz model: Test iPhone 6s…
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