Uber has formed a partnership with Getaround to provide drivers a car to operate through their service. The new pilot program operating in San Francisco allows Uber drivers to use the Getaround app to rent cars on-demand. Through the agreement, the drivers will pay a flat $5 per hour rate which includes insurance, gas and unlimited miles. It also includes a trial with the first 14 hours of free driving (during one continuous rental) for the first time free. This new rental agreement is very similar to the deals Uber has made with GM and Hertz in the past, and there are similar services designed to provide car rental services to drivers operating for Uber and Lyft. The Getaround rental model is very similar to other successful business models of car2go and Zipcar. However, the cars provided to Getaround are not privately owned, but are supplied by Xchange Leasing, Uber's existing lease program for drivers.
For drivers interested in the trial and Getaround access, drivers will still need to be screened and approved through Uber's program, which requires their standard sign-up procedure. Once approved, the drivers will receive a special Getaround app download code that unlocks the trial. Uber is trying to attract drivers who do not own their own vehicle nor want to use their own, if they do owe one, but wish to earn additional income during their free time. The company has many other pilot incentive programs active. One of which includes helping drivers adopt electric cars in Portland, Oregon. The program is similar to the projects they started in London, Lisbon, Madrid, Johannesburg and Paris. Through Xchange Leasing, drivers will be able acquire electric cars to operate Uber's services. The goal is to have 10% of the fleet operating under Uber to be electric by 2019. The company is also currently facing an array of PR nightmares. Reports of unhealthy work culture, CEO missteps, a competitor driver tracking program, calls from California regulators to crack down on drivers with drunk driving records and the departure of its senior-most communications executive has the company in a tight spot and very leeway to make any mistakes. Uber has been trying to improve the driver-side experience in an attempt to recruit and retain drivers.