A ride-hailing service Uber is planning to make its app available in Hindi. During an interview with Quartz, Uber India's Shirish Andhare confirmed their plan to experiment with the top seven languages in India. However, he didn't reveal the timeline. Andhare is looking after product and growth at Uber India.
Andhare said Uber will first start experimenting with Hindi, learn from it and then go forward experimenting with other languages. In India, Uber only supports English. But globally, Uber also supports Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese.
"One thing unique to India is the language diversity, so we will be experimenting with vernacular here," said Shirish Andhare.
"Phones that were shipped to India were always English-first. Now, a lot of companies are going vernacular, so we also are looking that way," he added.
It's been over two years since Uber is operating its (research and development) R&D unit in India. Over the period, Uber went from being a team of around 70 to over 160. Uber India's tech hub is spread across Bengaluru and Hyderabad. This year, Uber India is looking to expand its workforce at these two centres.
In August 2017, another ride-hailing service Ola partnered with Indus OS to make its app available in 12 regional languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Oriya, Assamese, Punjabi, Kannada, Gujarati, Urdu and Bengali.
In related news, Uber is resuming its self-driving operations. Uber has hired a "micro-mobility robotics" unit to manage autonomous bikes and scooters. Uber's self-driving car division was briefly shut down last year after a fatal crash in the US state of Arizona.