Uber Inks MoU with ONDC for Mobility Service Integration

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Ride-hailing giant Uber has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to explore integration of mobility services. The announcement was made during an event in Bengaluru on February 22nd.

Uber is a multinational ride-hailing company that revolutionized the transportation industry with its innovative app-based service. Founded in 2009, Uber has expanded globally, offering a convenient and reliable alternative to traditional taxi services. With its user-friendly app, passengers can easily request rides and track their driver’s location in real-time.

ONDC is an initiative by the Government of India aimed at revolutionizing e-commerce in the country. Launched in 2021, ONDC aims to create a digital commerce ecosystem that is open, transparent, and inclusive. ONDC’s platform enables sellers, service providers, and consumers to interact seamlessly, fostering a competitive and innovative digital commerce market.

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi discussed building technology for large populations with Infosys co-founder and Aadhar architect Nandan Nilekani. Khosrowshahi praised India’s Digital Public Infrastructure for its scale and ambition, stating that companies and governments worldwide can learn from it. He also expressed Uber’s keen interest in open-source technology stacks, highlighting the opportunities they offer to everyone.

While the company did not provide further details on the nature of the integration, Khosrowshahi stated that this marks the initial phase in transforming Uber into a platform that caters to the daily mobility needs of all Indians. He expressed support for India’s DPI model, not only for its potential impact on the Indian ecosystem but also for its relevance to other developing nations.

“As the Open Network continues to develop, the Mobility, Transport, and Travel (MTT) sector is of utmost importance to us. The collaboration of various entities on the network encourages innovation and the emergence of new business models. Today’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) is a significant stride forward,” commented T Koshy, Managing Director and CEO of ONDC.

Uber’s recent announcement follows Ola’s move to join the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) in September 2023, enabling Ola to offer food delivery services. Ola has been testing this feature on its ride-hailing app since August, and it is now visible to some users.

During the event, Khosrowshahi mentioned that Uber will be emphasizing more affordable solutions and services. He highlighted the significant potential in lower-cost products such as two-wheelers and three-wheelers and mentioned the company’s expansion into bus services in certain countries.

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