Uber has long been experimenting with ways to use its drivers to be more than a taxi company. UberEssentials, an on-demand delivery service, was one of the more intriguing ideas to come out of the company, but that service has been quietly shut down for now.
@Drunkmuppet uberESSENTIALS will no longer be available. We're already taking the learnings and using them towards our next experiment!
— Uber DC (@Uber_DC) January 22, 2015
It’s surprising to see UberEssentials close down just a month after the company extended the project. It began as a limited trial called Corner Store last summer, serving the Washington DC Area. It was expanded with longer hours in December.
The company’s tweet suggests the shutdown is unlikely to be permanent, however. We’ve contacted Uber for comment and will update if we hear back.
UPDATE: Uber responded to us.
Washington, DC is often a testing ground for Uber, offering a place to try new products and explore consumer interest in those innovative ideas.
UberEssentials was one of those experiments and we’re already taking our learnings and using them to determine what our next experience looks like.
The experiment allowed us to identify what our users valued about the service, as well as areas where we can make the experience event better.
We look forward to continuing to innovate and providing users with new and valuable ways to leverage the Uber app.
Thanks to @chi1cabby for the heads up.