Is this the car of the future for Uber?
British electric vehicle (EV) automaker start-up Arrival has revealed an electric ride-hailing vehicle prototype that was designed in partnership with Uber called simply the Arrival Car.
A boxy five-seater people mover, the Arrival Car was designed in six months with ride-hailing drivers in front of mind.
Arrival says the EV “prioritises cost, uptime, driver comfort, safety, and convenience”.
It’s conducted research that suggests ride-hailing vehicles drive on average around 40,000 to 50,000km annually, compared to 12,000km for typical vehicles.
The company has yet to announce the Car’s dimensions or powertrain or battery specifications.
The front of the Arrival Car prototype is largely blocked off apart from a small air intake at the bottom of the front bumper.
There’s a large front windscreen that sweeps all the way up to the panoramic sunroof.
Squint and there are aspects reminiscent of the Ford S-Max and Volkswagen Touran, none of which are sold locally.
At the back is a large, vertical tailgate flanked by pixelated tail lights, both of which are reminiscent of the Hyundai Staria.
Inside the vehicle is a minimalist dashboard with a centrally-mounted touchscreen and no instrument cluster, a similar set-up to that of the Tesla Model 3.
There’s also a phone holder ahead of the driver, as expected of a ride-hailing vehicle.
This EV, if mass-produced, will play an integral role in transitioning Uber’s entire fleet of ride-hailing vehicles to all-electric propulsion by 2025.
“Electrifying ride-hailing will play a crucial role in reducing the emissions of vehicles in cities globally, providing a sustainable, clean multi-modal transportation system for communites,” said Tom Elvidge, Executive Vice President of Vehicle Platforms at Arrival.
“We are keen on supporting drivers with this transition by developing the best possible product for ride hailing that elevates the experience for both them and their passengers, making urban air clean in the process.”
The production-specification Car will use existing technologies from Arrival’s Van and Bus commercial EVs.
The EV will also be built by “local microfactories” that Arrival says are around the world and rapidly scalable.
It was previously reported that Arrival intends to put the Car into production by the third quarter of 2023. The company says testing will commence in 2022.
Arrival was founded in 2015 and currently employs over 2000 people.
It’s a joint stock company that’s governed under Luxembourg law.
The company’s headquarters are located in London and it offers two all-electric light commercial vehicles called the Arrival Van and the Arrival Bus.
Swiss tech company WayRay recently showed off its vision for the future of ride-hailing in the Holograktor, a three-seater EV created to showcase the company’s augmented reality technology.
WayRay CEO Vitaly Ponomarev has ambitions to release the car in four years.