• Obi News Team

Fancy a ride in a giant hot dog?

Top Stories AirAsia becomes a super app. NYC taxis are making a comeback. Didi puts the breaks on Europe. Was Prop 22 a waste of $200m? Uber and Lyft Rides may never get cheaper. Uber reaches out to students about safety. China cracks down on ridehailing data security. And Lyft offers rides in a giant hot dog.

AirAsia Super App AirAsia is following in the footsteps of other super apps by launching a ridesharing service. AirAsia Ride will give Malaysians another ridehailing option besides Grab. They also plan to launch in Thailand. Presently the AirAsia Ride e-hailing service is available in the Klang Valley area of Kuala Lumpur and can be booked through the superapp or visiting Full story.

Judge: California Ridesharing Law Is Unconstitutional Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional. Yes, that’s the same Prop that Uber and Lyft spent over $200 million combined on, making it the most expensive ballot measure in state history. Money well spent? Hmm, maybe not if this latest ruling stands and we have to start all over again. As you would expect, Uber and Lyft are not happy and are going to appeal. One thing is for sure, the Prop 22 saga is far from over and a lot more money will be spent. Who pays for this? Well, the riders (and drivers), eventually. But don't count on drivers becoming employees anytime soon. Continue reading about the debacle.

Why Are Uber And Lyft So Expensive Right Now?

Nicole Spector discusses her recent ridehail experiences and asks the question whether ride prices will ever go back down to pre-pandemic levels. “We just might not. What remains to be seen is whether the pre-Covid period was a halcyon era, never to be seen again, or whether the clearly underappreciated bounty of cheap, readily available rides can be reattained.” Read the interesting insights.

Uber is reaching out to students on safety. Uber said it is important to check out your ride by verifying the license plate, make and model of the car, and the driver's photo before getting into the car. For those of you unaware Uber has some built-in safety measures including "Verify your ride" (will give you a four-digit PIN to give to your driver before the ride can start), the "share my trip" feature, which allows you to send all the information about the driver such as make and model of vehicle, license plate, and driver's photo to someone else, as well as the "emergency button" which is located in the toolbox, and will alert 911 where your trips information can be sent. Read more on Uber's safety features.

How about a ride in a giant hot dog? Wienermobile joins ride-share app after Oscar Mayer, Lyft team up. Just when you thought life could not get any more bizarre, someone in Lyft marketing thought it would be a great idea to surprise people waiting for their ride by picking them up in a 27ft hot dog. Driven by two five-star drivers, the ride will include music, neon lights, free shirts, hot dog masks, and, of course, Weenie Whistles. Starting on Wednesday, the Wienermobile will be making appearances in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta for a three-day period. Fun fact - there are six different hot dogs on wheels driving around the country at all times. Didi puts Europe expansion on hold for at least a year Another blow for price competition. Didi Global Inc. has suspended plans to expand in Europe. It was due to challenge Uber in Europe, including several British cities, but this is now on hold jobs will be cut. The European expansion will be paused for at least a year, according to the Telegraph, which earlier reported the news of the suspension. Read the full story.

Waymo Opens Robotaxi Service in San Francisco for Ride Hailing If you love robots and ridehailing then San Francisco is THE place for you. Now you can get a Robotaxi through the Waymo app although for now it’s still in the test phase. The rides will be free for participants, who must sign nondisclosure agreements and can’t bring guests on rides. Riders selected by Waymo will be able use its app to hail a Jaguar I-Pace vehicle equipped with the company’s latest autonomous technology. Drivers seated behind the wheel will assume control if the computer falters or fails to adapt to any number of unpredictable scenarios like a meteorite or a tourist who won't get out of the way. Read more.

China tightens data security rules for ridehailing. China has introduced new rules classifying important data as geographical information, traffic data in important and sensitive areas including military regions. Ride-hailing firms, including Didi, car makers, components and software suppliers, distributors and maintenance providers will be subject to new rules. Read more here.

NYC taxis are becoming popular again Business Insider details how New York's yellow cabs, after years of being crushed by subsidized ridehails are starting to fight back. Taxi cabs hailed through Curb saw a whopping 152% increase between April and July in NYC. Read the full story here.