Uber Introduces In-Car Vending Machines
Your Uber might be about to get a little bit less "city taxi" and a little bit more "limo" (but just a little bit). Cargo is a tech startup that provides rideshare drivers with a free mini vending machine that passengers can buy from during their ride. There are even a few complimentary products, depending on your cab. (In Tech Crunch's screenshot, complimentary options include Cheez-Its, Blowfish hangover tablets, and Michel et Augustin chocolate cookies.)
So how does this all work? Drivers receive their Cargo display case, which holds all the products that they'll be vending. Products range from snacks to energy drinks to over-the-counter medicine to, on the more expensive end, USB chords. If customers see something they like, they can go to Cargo's rider page, enter the unique vehicle code that appears on top of the driver's display case, and order the product. The system accepts both credit cards or mobile payments.
As far as incentive for drivers to adopt this system, the driver gets 50 cents for each sale. Plus, getting free snacks and having access to a bunch of other options right from the car definitely won't hurt the rating you're going to give the driver.
Cargo's currently operating just in New York, Chicago, and Boston, but there's a good chance it'll be coming to cars near you pretty soon. Not only has Cargo gotten requests from 49 states, but they've also raised a whopping $1.75 million in seed funding. The Cargo team includes a couple people who were previously members of the Birchbox team, which makes sense. They're clearly interested in finding creative and convenient ways to get consumers the products they want. So here's hoping that soon, when you get in a car after a wild night, you can have immediate access to some emergency food and aspirin.