Chips dont lie

Who doesn’t love booze with great company after work? We all do. And for the most part of it, beer always taste better with good food. Never mind the traditional pair up of beer with pastas or burgers, chips are still the best choice. Probably still the most popular choice for an after work soccer match with your homies! Now, Doritos have once again created something interesting. The Frito-Lay continues to amaze me with their Tostitos’s “Party Safe” bag. Wait a minute, did I just said party safe? Yes i did. That means you now party without the constant fear of driving home drunk.

The pack of chips is actually going to heighten your awareness of alcohol level as well as do the favour of getting you a decent ride home. Pretty nifty trick i did say.

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A concept by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the bag comes equipped with a device that is connected with a microcontroller. It is somewhat calibrated to detect alcohol from the person’s breath. Should the sensors detect alcohol presence, it immediately signals red and what you see is an image of a steering wheel! On top of that, an Uber code is created, indicating a message: “Don’t drink and drive”.

With near-field communication (NFC) technology, you can even tap the bag with your smartphone to activate the ride. With all the campaigns going on against drunk driving and Uber’s ongoing promotions, Tostitos are throwing n the $10 off deals during the period as well as after the Feb 5 Super bowl game. Well played.

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Give me a FIVE!

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Car pooling is no longer a strange concept for many of us. Especially for those of us who wants to commute in the most economical and efficient manner, car pools are kind of the way to go. Now, how do we make it even easier? Here’s the good thing, New Yorkers now enjoy this service through Uber! They are implementing a flat rate of $5 for all car pools within Manhattan below the 110 Street area, but limited to peak hours between 7 to 10AM as well as 5-8PM on weekdays! However, this comes with a small price to pay. That is, you might need to walk a bit to a specific location in order to allow the pick up points to be well aligned for better travel efficiency. So the idea here is to make it more optimal to pick you up as well as drop you such that the travel route is well, ‘strategised’ for timely pick ups and well worth fare charges.

 

The interesting thing to note is that car pool has been very lucrative for Uber and based on their current fast growing ridership and the staggering amount of New Yorkers who are using UberPool are growing exponentially. Car pool might just be the way to go for Uber albeit their claims for a ‘complimentary public transportation’ provider.

Let’s see what happens next. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will pick up fast and hopefully be adopted in Asia countries like Singapore! Nonetheless, Im still an avid supporter for Uber and will continue to use their services.

Über to pull out of Hamburg, Germany

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This is actually bad news for me. In Singapore, many commuters find it daunting to flag a cab during peak hours, rainy days as well as being in obscure locations where cabs simply do not wish to come. Then came a solution. Über, a transport service provider who had the idea of letting the public choose the driver of their choice, by marrying a willing driver to a happy passenger. A win win situation where people can now commute easily and efficiently without being frustrated by cab rejections or boorish driver attitudes. This change has naturally brought good commuting experience for the general public but is definitely bound to receive extreme resistance from the licensed cab drivers.

Cab drivers view this new transport service, which also features a private driver option for anyone to join its programme as a part time driver, to be a threat for their livelihood. Maybe from a rather more individualistic perspective, I do see Über as a ‘check’ for arrogant and complacent drivers to reflect why they would have lost. I am not generalising the entire cab population here, but more often than not, have I heard cases of exasperated passengers complain about cabbies for their behaviours and attitudes. Hence, Über provided a solution for most of the people.

Now, it is apparent that the company is facing a pullout in Hamburg, Germany, because of the tedious process to obtain registration for an independent rental car enterprise. However, Über is still receiving major support in areas like Berlin and Munich but is likely to pull out from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.  Über provided the ideal solution for the public, be it a passenger or an average joe looking to moonlight as a part time driver. It provided a service through the use of technology at our fingertips. Anyone can easily get a cab at any hour, without much waiting time, through the use of the Über mobile app. I do not wish to see the end of such brilliant service end here in Singapore. The amount of resistance from licensed cab companies here have also place immersive amount of strain on the company’s operations. But I believe those who truly stood for this service should hold their stand and let the company continue its operations.

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