Uber turns Delhi's cash-accepting rickshaws into UberAutos

Uber has launched UberAuto in Delhi to give customers the option to get around in auto-rickshaws, a common transportation in the city, as well as introducing cash payments.

Uber has announced the launch of UberAuto in Dehli, India, to make use of the city's three-wheeled rickshaws.

As part of UberAuto, customers will have the option to pay for their ride in cash, which will be calculated based on a government-approved metered fare.

Uber now runs four different services for customers in Dehli: UberAuto, UberGo, UberX, and UberBlack.

"When it comes to getting around Delhi, auto-rickshaws are a staple. We recognise the history and value of autos to the transportation landscape. For us, UberAuto is another way of using technology to offer more choice, making life simpler and keep Delhi moving," the company wrote in a blog post.

The ride-sharing service was relaunched in Dehli at the beginning of the year, after being banned for nearly six weeks when one of its drivers was charged for allegedly raping a passenger.

Uber applied for a licence under the Radio Taxi Scheme -- a move that will see it operate under the revised Radio Taxi Act 2006 -- as a way to resume its operations. Delhi is now the only city in which the company operates as a regular taxi service. This is despite the company generally maintaining that it is not a taxi service provider, but merely an app-based transportation network.

To address safety concerns, following the alleged rape, Uber said there were plans to introduce an in-app SOS button in its cars, and new safety procedures including implementing independent background checks on all driver partners, plus vehicle documentation reviews.

The company was also close to being completely shut down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) late last year, due to the way customers were paying for their rides. Traditionally, customers would have saved their credit card details on the app, which allows drivers to automatically charge riders at the end of the journey. However, according to the RBI, the payment process counteracted the two-step authentication process that all card transactions must go through. To solve the problem, Uber partnered up with local payments firm Paytm for its mobile wallet service, a system that is used by Meru and Ola Cabs, local rivals of the company.

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