Weekly Round-Up: Uber Rival Bolt To Deliver Food In Europe

In this edition of our weekly round-up, Bolt has upped the ante in the delivery game by offering food delivery via self-driving robots.

Uber is also set to lay off about 200 employees in their recruitment division to “streamline costs.”

European Uber Rival Bolt Will Deliver Food To Your Door Via Self-Driving Robots


Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt says it will begin delivering food to people’s doors from a fleet of self-driving robots through a partnership with robotics firm Starship Technologies.

The company said it would start offering online food deliveries in its home city of Tallinn later this year in an initial rollout of Starship’s robots, which are roughly the size of a suitcase.

We are focused on providing well-rounded solutions to help make local transportation as sustainable as possible.
Markus Villig Founder and CEO of Bolt

“Starship offers a smart and much-loved service that has proven itself over the past five years and we’re excited to introduce this service to more people.”

Bolt, one of Europe’s most highly valued tech companies with a valuation of $8.4 billion, made a name for itself challenging Uber in the U.S. ride-hailing giant’s key international markets, particularly the U.K….

bolt food powered by starship image provided by cnbc
Bolt Partners with Starship to Deliver Food in Europe

My Take

As technology and advancements continue to evolve, it makes sense that competitors will come up with ways to keep up with Uber and all they have going on.

About a year ago, Bolt left a lot of U.S. cities, to focus more on their European roots. If they are now able to better compete with Uber overseas, it looks like they made a good decision.

Uber To Lay Off 200 Employees In Recruitment Division


Uber Technologies (UBER.N) said on Wednesday it was cutting 200 jobs in its recruitment division amid plans to keep the staff count flat through the year and streamline costs.

The reductions affect less than 1% of Uber’s 32,700-strong global workforce and follow the ride-share company laying off 150 employees in its freight services division earlier this year.

The latest cuts account for 35% of Uber’s recruiting team, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the development earlier in the day….

My Take

Funny to me how companies like Uber and Lyft cut employees like they are nothing in order to save costs and look profitable for their investors and for the market.

At least Uber isn’t cutting their forces as swiftly and largely as Lyft has recently (who has stated their cuts are to keep up with Uber…ironic).

Is there more to come from each company? Time will tell, but their track record says, “Yes”.

Cincinnati Bengals Punter Drue Chrisman Picks Up Side Gig As Doordash Delivery Driver


Cincinnati Bengals punter Drue Chrisman has been going the extra mile lately, and not just on the football field.

The 25-year-old has picked up a job as a DoorDash delivery driver during the NFL offseason. Chrisman broke down the process on Twitter Tuesday, explaining why he has decided to deliver orders, despite his NFL gig.

Chrisman, who played his college football at Ohio State, says he has been using the money he earns from DoorDash to support local restaurants and feed people in his community.

My Take

I’m honestly not certain how I feel about this. He likely makes plenty of money on his own to spend how he sees fit, including making enough to help out his community, I would assume.

So, it’s kind of disheartening that he’s doing this job, potentially taking away from someone who doesn’t have any other gig to get by on.

I can understand others we’ve covered in the past who started out with DoorDash or Uber until they hit it big. But to hit it big and then do DoorDash on the side just seems like it’s taking away from someone who could use it more.

I get that he’s helping out his community, which is great and very commendable. But maybe there are other ways to do that without taking work away from others.

Or am I just crazy here?

So THAT’S Why You Feel Carsick In Ubers And Cabs


Once again, Reddit users and I are on the same wavelength: We’re wondering why riding in an Uber or Lyft makes us so uncomfortably nauseous. The viral thread perfectly captures the stomach-churning phenomenon, further proving that many of us have never had an original experience in our life.

Maybe you’ve experienced this, too. For some reason, the feelings of sickness don’t hit when you’re driving or a friend is behind the wheel, but every time you step in a cab, you know the next 20 minutes or so are going to be rough. Add that to the fact that this mode of transportation is needed so often — to get to the airport, to get home after a night out, because you’re too tired to drive home yourself and on so many other occasions. So what are you to do?

My Take

Ok, so this one isn’t breaking news or anything. I think most of us are aware of motion sickness and at least the basics of why it happens when it does. Personally, I get more motion sick when drivers (like my dad) aren’t seamless about switching lanes but instead use more jerky motions to complete lane changes, turns and even just staying in the lane.

Unfortunately, Uber drivers are a mixed bag. No one has to prove (outside of a basic driver’s background check) that they are a good driver. Plus, you’re usually expected to sit in the backseat which is where motion sickness is worse.

If you suffer from motion sickness in your next Uber ride, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been there before and it’s not fun.

To Help His Riders, Twin Cities Uber And Lyft Driver Goes The Extra Mile


The 25-year-old woman came out to Mark Daigle’s car holding two trash bags stuffed with clothes. Daigle put them in his trunk while she went back inside to get her small son. Then they all climbed into the car and headed toward the address the woman had given.

As they drove, the woman began crying. Daigle, who had met her, briefly, only once before, eyed her in his rearview mirror, and asked her:

“This place I’m driving you to, is that a safe place for you?” She gave a loud sigh. “That’s not a yes,” Daigle said. “Can you tell me more? Because that’s not a yes.”

The woman told him that the man who lived there had a history of violently abusing her. Daigle has a rule against dropping riders off in places that don’t seem safe….

Mark Daigle helping his riders photo by startribune
Mark Daigle Photo Credit Star Tribune

My Take

See, now we have this example of someone helping people and going the extra mile in a whole different way. He’s not an NFL player doing this on the side. He’s actively changing people’s lives for the better.

There are so many creepy people out there, it’s nice to see there’s a genuine guy who is willing to do more to help others, no matter what.

I’m sure some people will say that he’s wasting his time, his money and that maybe people are just using him or taking advantage of him. But it seems pretty obvious that the people he has helped have greatly appreciated it and value him beyond the “standard” Uber driver.

I hope he continues to fight the good fight and stand up for people who are down on their luck.

RSG in the News This Week