The ref part of The Proclaimers’ 1980s song ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles’ is perhaps best-suited to describe what Uber drivers should go through every day. With the demand of going through 500 miles and possibly rolling 500 more, urgent needs arise for a vehicle designed for ride-share drivers.
The Arrival comes into view by offering a partnership with Uber, one of the most popular mobility services in the world.
Arrival is a start-up focusing on producing EVs. They aim to address the global need to support emission-free mass transportations. Two commonly known products are the Arrival van and the Arrival bus. This partnership with Uber seeks to create an EV car that accommodates durability, affordability, and, ultimately, sustainability.
Arrival cars’ initial working prototype is similar to the other Arrival EVs, most notably its sleek and minimalist design. Its exterior looks not so different from any other hatchback city car. However, the clear transparent glass roof provides the car with natural lighting and open scenery for everyone on board.
In the design process, Arrival encourages participation and input from Uber drivers. Arrival cars are designed to endure long miles considering that current Uber drivers use ordinary consumer cars with out-of-ordinary heavy mileage.
The frame and structure are comparatively light but sturdy enough to handle the average drive of 45-50,000 miles per year.
Bearing in mind the long hours Uber drivers spend inside their vehicles, Arrival focuses on creating a spacious car for their comfort. At a glance, this is most apparent through fewer clutters and buttons than conventional car interior designs. A phone holder is within a hand reach from the driver, close to the steering wheel.
There is also a GPS screen that can simultaneously work as an Uber app interface. To add, Arrival put the space between the driver and front passenger seat to use for cup/bottle holder and cushion for the armrest.
Going the extra miles to provide more room, Arrival adopts bench style for the passenger back seat. The front passenger seat is foldable into a compact cuboid that forms a flexible area for feet or luggage.
To further boost drivers’ performance, each car is provided with built-in bottle spaces on the inner side of the back doors. With this feature, drivers can prepare complimentary water to appeal to the customers. These details can ensure customers’ satisfaction and translate to a higher star rating that benefits drivers.
Ride-hailing and ridesharing are effective ways to reduce car volumes on the street. Electrifying these vehicles will further improve the effort to reduce gas emissions. Uber itself plans to help all its drivers to upgrade to EV by 2025 at the latest.
Currently, Arrival cars are still in the stage of working design. The finished look is most likely different than this newly released design. However, the finished products are expected to enter production in the third quartile of 2023, as announced on the Arrival website.