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Uber Uses Mobile Game To Recruit Drivers

If Andy Warhol were alive today, he might predict: “In the future, everything will be reduced to a 15-minute casual game.” That includes recruitment. Mass livery service Uber released a mobile game called Uber Drive that lets the player inhabit the world of an Uber driver, in the hopes of convincing some of them to actually give it a try.

Set in Uber’s hometown of San Francisco, Uber Drive tasks players with picking up fares at various spots and transporting them to other destinations, using real maps of the world’s hippest peninsular city.

Players are rewarded for picking up fares during “surge pricing” zones, allowing them to earn virtual cash, upgrade their vehicles and unlock extra features as they build their Uber empires.

If you’re having such a great time, you want to see the real thing, you can sign up for Uber and send in your application to become a driver from within the game. The game is also educational, helping show potential and current drivers their way around the city, while also teaching them about landmarks and popular attractions passengers may ask to visit. At the end of every trip the game then shows the player the fastest route and awards points based on how close they came.

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The educational aspect could help address one common source of complaints about Uber --  that new, inexperienced drivers sometimes don’t know the best routes to destinations. Depending on the game’s success, Uber may take the next logical step and introduce other city maps for Uber Drive players to navigate.

Uber is also looking to expand the scope of its business to include non-human cargo.

Last month, TechCrunch reported that Uber is planning to launch a same-day online retail delivery service. According to the report, Uber has already issued training documents for drivers and couriers who want to participate in the service. About 400 retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss, are said to be considering participating in what will be called the Uber Merchant Delivery Program.

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