Uber Launches Speedboat Service

Antonio Bronic/REUTERS

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Uber launched a speedboat service Friday, allowing travelers to hitch a ride on the water rather than the typical road.

While the new services are only available in Croatia for now, the move shows how inclined Uber is to offer other modes of transportation besides driving cars. The ride-sharing startup turned tech conglomerate has tested the aquatic transit in Instanbul, Turkey and Miami, Florida among other places, according to Reuters Monday, meaning the amenity could be available in the U.S. at some point in the near future.

Known as UberBOAT, the feature provides speedboats that can convey up to 12 people.

It will be operational in Croatia, for the summer, carrying people up the country’s highly-visited Adriatic coast. Tourists and everyday citizens in the cities of Dubrovnik and Split, as well as the island of Hvar, can take a speedboat by using their normal Uber app.

Uber will be competing with other boating companies that also operate along the Adriatic coast, which could cause backlash from rivals that’s highly reminiscent of American taxi drivers’ protests and uproar. (RELATED: Judge Rules Uber Drivers In London Must Pass An English Test)

The addition of boating rides is not the first instance of Uber trying to penetrate other areas of industry. The company introduced “Uber + Travel and “UberLIFE” last year in select parts of the world. The new features included digital magazines and information on local travel options, among other aspects.

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