Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic

Uber Mexico City using drones to show signs to drivers

[Editor’s Note: Bloomberg shared that Uber does more business in Mexico City than any other city where it operates.]

This post originally appeared on https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602662/ubers-ad-toting-drones-are-heckling-drivers-stuck-in-traffic/.

Forget billboards—motorists now have ads buzzing a few feet above their windshields.

Drivers stuck in traffic in Mexico City lately have found themselves being buzzed by a fleet of sign-toting drones. “Driving by yourself?” some scolded in Spanish. “This is why you can never see the volcanoes”—a reference to the smog that often hovers over the mega-city and obscures two nearby peaks.
It wasn’t exactly a plea for environmentalism, though—it was an ad for UberPOOL, part of Uber’s big push into markets across Latin America. As Bloomberg points out, Uber already does more business in Mexico City than any other city it operates in, and Brazil is its third-largest market after the U.S. and India. Uber sees Latin American countries as generally easier targets for expansion than either of its top two markets.

In the wake of a costly war with Didi Chuxing in China that finally forced Uber to wave a white flag, the company is going back on the offensive. And that, apparently, involves accosting drivers in gridlock with a swarm of drones.

(Read more: Bloomberg, “With Its Sale in China, Uber Drives a Better Bargain”)

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