Uber to test on-demand ice cream trucks in several cities

Uber on-demand ice cream truck

Detailed on the official Uber blog earlier today, the service that allows people to hire luxury sedans in major cities is experimenting with on-demand ice cream trucks this Friday. In order to bring a sweet treat to a certain location, a user starts up the Uber smartphone application and taps the icon that looks like an ice cream cone. The user can then select a location where the ice cream truck should show up. If a user is at work, they will be provided an estimated time of arrival through the application rather than having to wait outside for the truck to arrive. Ideally, an Uber user will probably want to share the ice cream with friends as the truck is only selling ice cream in bundles of five. After the ice cream is delivered to the Uber user, the credit card on file is charged $12 per ice cream bundle.

Uber Ice Cream AppIn an interview with the New York Times, Uber general manager Michael Pao indicated that the success of the test run will determine if Uber runs this promotion on a regular basis during the hot summer months. Pao stated “We’re offering a new way to experience ice cream similar to transportation. Opening your app and tapping a button and having something show up is magical when it comes to transportation. We feel it will be magical for other things too.”

The trucks will be operating from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in New York City, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington D.C. and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Chicago, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco and Toronto. Rather than using Uber branded trucks, the company is partnering with local ice cream truck vendors in order to create a wide distribution network. The type of ice cream sold within the bundles will vary by region as well. The trucks in Boston will be carrying pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream while the trucks in Toronto will be serving Klondike bars and soft serve. The trucks in New York City and San Francisco will be selling ice cream from popular local vendors instead of mass market brands. With the purchase of an ice cream bundle, the trucks will also be passing out Uber branded merchandise such as shirts and stickers. 

This isn’t the first time Uber has attempted a unique promotion in order to increase user awareness about the company’s car service. During April 2012, Uber ran a special promotion on Tax Day in Seattle that offered 99 percent off rides to the post office to drop off tax forms in addition to rides to the liquor store to pick up some alcohol to drown Tax Day sorrows. The special deal was offered to 500 people in the Seattle area and was valued up to $25 per trip. 

In addition, Uber recently announced the company is branching out to less affluent users by offering an option of hybrid cars instead of the luxury sedans. According to the New York Times, the cost of using an Uber hybrid will be about 10 to 25 percent more than the average cab. This is much cheaper than the 40 to 100 percent markup of using a luxury sedan through Uber.

Smart Home

Restaurants may soon have chefs who know all about you before you walk in the door

At Seattle’s Addo, chef Eric Rivera gives pop-up-style restaurants a permanent home, and he leverages everything from Instagram to a ticketing service to bring in customers.
Cars

End your dependence on fossil fuels with one of these amazing electric cars

Electric cars are getting smarter, safer, and more capable with each passing year. Here are our picks for the best electric cars on the market, whether you're looking for a performance ride or a family-friendly crossover.
Cars

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.
Cars

Volvo wants to build a future in which you can’t wait to commute to work

Volvo's futuristic 360c concept embodies the changes sweeping across the automotive industry. It's electric, fully autonomous, and connected. The firm wants to start a conversation about the role self-driving cars will play in the future.
Cars

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Cars

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Cars

Ferrari’s latest special editions are stripped down, old-school sports cars

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are inspired by some of the Italian automaker's most legendary sports cars. They mix old school rawness with modern carbon fiber construction and 789-horsepower V12 power.
News

Lucid Motors accepts $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabian fund

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will invest $1 billion in upstart electric car company Lucid Motors. Lucid hopes to launch a Tesla-fighting luxury sedan called the Air by 2020.
Cars

Lyft offers some fun stats to celebrate its 1 billionth ridesharing journey

Lyft cars have made a billion journeys since its ridesharing service launched six years ago. Announcing the milestone on Tuesday, September 18, the company revealed a few fun stats about its rides so far.
Cars

Nissan will invite Google into its cars’ dashboards starting in 2021

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has joined forces with Google to develop a brand-new infotainment system. Scheduled to launch in 2021, the yet-unnamed software will boast navigation via Google Maps over-the-air software updates.
Product Review

Aston’s stunning DB11 V8 Volante proves exotic cars aren't just about lap times

With the DB11 Volante, Aston Martin’s marriage of luxury and performance is perhaps at its best, offering hustle that doesn’t feel rushed and refinement with emotion still intact.
Cars

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.