Oil

Uber enlists "Qute" to take on India's choked, polluted roads

Credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Uber Technologies Inc has launched a new ride-hailing service in India's tech capital Bengaluru that will use miniature gas-powered cars called "Qute" to win over commuters stressed out by the sprawling city's heavily-congested streets.

BENGALURU, June 13 (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N has launched a new ride-hailing service in India's tech capital Bengaluru that will use miniature gas-powered cars called "Qute" to win over commuters stressed out by the sprawling city's heavily-congested streets.

Uber's first market in India, Bengaluru has struggled to hold onto its nickname as the "Garden City" over the past two decades as its population tripled and infrastructure failed to keep up, stranding drivers in huge rush-hour traffic jams.

The chunky, low-powered vehicles, made by Bajaj Auto Ltd BAJA.NS, are billed as a greener alternative to ordinary cars and India's ubiquitous 3-wheel auto rickshaws, sometimes called tuk-tuks, which are cheap but give passengers hardly any protection from petrol fumes and monsoon rains.

Uber will price the Qutes, which can carry up to three passengers and have windows and a fan but no air-conditioning, for slightly less than its standard car service. It started with 50 of the cars on Thursday and will expand to several hundred in the coming months.

"We want to be seen as part of framing a solution," said Satinder Bindra, Director, Communications India and South Asia, adding "Bengaluru is one of our more important and larger markets."

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Bernard Orr, Patrick Graham)

((vibhuti.sharma@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 702 213 2017; Reuters Messaging: vibhuti.sharma.thomsonreuters@reuters.net; Twitter- @VibhutiSharmas))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

Renewable Energy

Latest Markets Videos

    Reuters

    Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

    Learn More