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Moving With The Times With Uber




Uber is changing the way the world moves. In an industry that has seemingly lain stagnant: the last few decades have seen increasing luxury and speed within transport, though little innovation.

Uber has disrupted the norm by seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through smartphone technology.

Not since the 19th century has transport been so fundamentally transformed. The Industrial Revolution saw the invention of telegraphy—and with it the introduction of communication to the industry.

Metaphorically speaking, the telegraph was the rudimentary precursor to the smartphone app, now employed by Uber across the globe to revolutionise the way people move, work and live.

Nigerian native, Tunde Owolabi is designer and photographer. A regular Uber user he says: “Tradition is a foundation upon which anything can be built.” And he should know. Much like how Uber is reinventing the transport industry, Tunde took a customary Nigerian fabric, Aso Oke, and translated it for use in the modern age.

“The rate at which the world is changing is so fast-paced. It’s no longer ‘global’, but “glocal”,” says the designer. ” Something Uber well knows. People looking for a ride to work, play or home can now access the progressive pick-up system in over 300 cities and 60 countries spanning 6 continents through their mobile phones.

The Uber network has spread to six cities in Africa; and Lagos was the fifth African Uber City to launch.

Drawing comparisons to Uber, Tunde’s Aso Oke project too encapsulates progressive design and the reinvention of a societal norm. He transformed the customary ceremonial fabric into sneakers. “I want Aso Oke to go beyond the shores of my country, to be worn by people of different races.”

In-line with how Uber is transforming the way people connect with their communities, Tunde travelled to the community of Aso Oke’s origins. “Aso Oke has been in existence with the Yoruba people for more than 200 years, and hasn’t changed much, until now.”

“It’s important for Africans to understand their story, that way whatever product you create has more soul and value. So much can be done in terms of art and design that can in turn bring about economic gains.”

Speaking of the bottom line, Uber likewise creates a platform for jobs for locals as partner-drivers, and as the need increases so will this avenue of employment. A task the company doesn’t take lightly: with a pledge to create a million jobs for women across the world by 2020.

With technology comes great responsibility. It’s Uber’s mission to bring reliability, convenience and opportunity to transport systems. And safety. Uber connects users with safe transportation on-demand, wherever and whenever they choose, at the touch of a button.

The design of the app means riders never have to worry about finding a ride or having cash, and most importantly, users know who their driver is before getting in the car. The Uber system employs a host of safety features designed to create peace-of-mind for riders: from GPS tracking—which both you and your family have access to—to complete driver transparency.

“Being able to use an app to order a pick-up from any location to another has had major impact,” says Tunde. “If design [thinking] isn’t creating a better world, what is?”


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