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What Uber Pays, Toyota's Big Money and Booking Via Google -- Today's Ride-Share Roundup

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author photo by Lindsay Martell October 2018

Uber is a favorite of ride-sharing fans, but it's also become a fave of Toyota. In August, the two companies announced in a press release that they would team up to build self-driving cars.

This means the ride-hail app will supply its proprietary autonomous-driving system to Toyota Sienna minivans. In the press release, Uber explains that these Siennas will be "owned and operated by an agreed upon third party," a new business model for the ride-hail company. It also means a lot more cash for the tech giant, with Toyota investing $500 million, increasing Uber's value to $72 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Is There A Snack For That?

In other app updates, you can now snack n' ride, thanks to a start-up by the name of Cargo, a kind of in-car 7-Eleven. Uber revealed its partnership with the start-up last summer, and now drivers in a handful of cities (New York City, Boston, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth) can opt for a Cargo console box for their ride. Drivers stock it with such goodies as protein bars, along with those items we are sure to forget from time-to-time, like earbuds and mints. Seems simple to use -- riders simply scan the QR code, and drivers hand back the treats. Those behind the wheel for Uber earn $1 per order with no monthly fees.

Mo Money, Please

Looks like those giving rides for Uber could use the extra dough -- according to Ridester, a publication that zeroes in on ride-sharing companies, half of its drivers make under $10 an hour. This is contrary to its ads that reveal drivers can rake in $25 an hour plus hefty sign-on bonuses. Researchers discovered that $9.73 is about average for roughly 50 percent of those who drive for the ride-hail giant (after driving costs). The pub also revealed that although the average hourly pay is closer to $15 per hour after gratuity, things like fuel, insurance and paying for wear and tear on one's vehicle slashes that amount to just under $10. Guess another part-time job is in order if you want to log on for this gig.

Book It

If clicking on a ride-sharing app on your phone is just too much work, you can now simply utter these words: "Hey Google, book me a ride to Dunkin'." According to CNBC, the tech giant now allows its voice assistant to do the booking for you -- all you need is Google Assist and your voice. Booyah! If you aren't an Uber or Lyft fan, no worries: It supports 18 different ride-sharing apps (are there really that many?), and the search giant will also tell you how much it will cost.

Rounding up the ride-share news, one day at a time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
What Uber Pays, Toyota's Big Money and Booking Via Google -- Today's Ride-Share Roundup - Autotrader