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

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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