Uber on Monday announced the launch of two new projects as it continues to transition its ride-hailing business to a critical delivery service during the coronavirus crisis.
The San Francisco-based company built upon its Uber Eats food and grocery delivery service to create Uber Direct and Uber Connect in select cities, the company said in a blog post.
In what Uber has dubbed Moving What Matters, the company last month began using its resources to help transport front-line health care workers and ship critical PPE supplies as the coronavirus pandemic virtually shut down its everyday ride-hailing business.
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In response to customers, retailers and manufacturers, Uber Direct will deliver retail goods, including over-the-counter medications and pet supplies, to consumers.
Varied forms of Direct have launched initially in New York City, Portugal, Australia and South Africa, where the project teamed with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver medication to 25,000 people most vulnerable to COVID-19, the company blog said.
Uber said the initial locations are just a start and it plans to expand the service wherever the need surfaces.
A second project, Uber Connect allows people to stay connected to loved ones through the delivery of care packages, household supplies and even toys and games. It’s a same-day, no-contact delivery service that keeps people feeling close, even when they're apart, the company said.
Uber Connect is now available in more than 25 cities in Australia, Mexico and the U.S., Uber said.