Uber is to start collecting and delivering parcels for people using its existing network of drivers.
The ride hailing app will trial the new service in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds starting from Thursday, as the firm seeks new revenue streams amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Lockdown measures have hammered the firm’s usual ride requests, but its Uber Eats food delivery offering has boomed due to restaurants being forced to close.
For the price of a regular UberX journey, users can now send same-day packages within the app.
People will be able to track deliveries real-time and receive notifications like any normal Uber journey.
Packages must not be worth more than £100 and not exceed 13kg in weight.
When arranging a delivery, users must secure the package shut and confirm that it does not contain prohibited items.
Users will also need to provide the recipient’s name and any special delivery instructions, before meeting the driver and loading their parcel in the vehicle.
The sender will then be expected to let the recipient know a parcel is heading their way.
“Daily life remains very different this year and we want to help people keep in touch while staying safe at home as lockdown continues,” said Jamie Heywood, regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe at Uber.
“Uber Connect means you can send that last minute gift that you accidentally forgot, share a book you loved with one of your friends, or documents for a work colleague.”
Uber Connect was first launched last summer in 25 cities globally across Australia, Mexico, Canada and the US.