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April 18, 2017

UberEats now lets Brits schedule food deliveries

by John_A

UberEats, like Deliveroo and Amazon Prime Now, can be useful if you don’t have the time, supplies or energy to rustle up some grub. When you’re really in a rush, however — the morning ‘I must not be late for work again’ dash, for instance — it can be a nuisance to open the app, complete an order and then wait for the courier to arrive at your front door. Now, in London, Birmingham and Manchester, it’s possible to schedule an UberEats delivery. It’s a small addition, but one that could prove useful if you’re time poor or like to have your meals organised in advance.

In the UK, Uber has some tough competition. Deliveroo, which also offers scheduled orders, is courting small restaurants with a network of small, delivery only kitchens called ‘Editions.’ Just-Eat, which hoovered up Hungryhouse last December, is still a household name, and Amazon Prime has the might of an e-commerce juggernaut behind it. In the food space, Uber is arguably the challenger. One that’s experienced in app development and managing a fleet of drivers, but a challenger nonetheless.

The fight for peckish Brits is the least of Uber’s problems, however. The company is losing a bunch of high-profile staff at the moment, including the director of its AI lab. There’s also “Greyball,” a program designed to deceive government officials from catching Uber cars, and “Hell,” an internal program used to identify and track drivers who are using Uber and Lyft simultaneously. Combine that with its self-driving car program, which was part of a crash in Arizona last month, and its ongoing court battle with Alphabet-owned Waymo, and the company has a lot on its plate.

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