Plenty of Uber drivers fancy themselves as storytellers. Now the ride-hailing giant is sharing stories about drivers and the communities where they live and work via a new print magazine and website called Vehicle.
The magazine, which is exclusive to the Seattle and Washington, D.C., markets right now, rolled out in June. The effort is reminiscent of previous publications launched by Uber: Arriving Now was produced for New York City customers in September 2015, and Momentum preceded it in March of the same year.
Adam Williams, Vehicle’s editor in chief, joined the company in 2015 and works on a brand experience team based in San Francisco. Staff members contribute to the magazine as editors, creative directors and designers and the work of writers, photographers and illustrators in Seattle and D.C. is featured.
“Uber driver-partners and riders also contributed,” Williams told GeekWire via email. “Drivers shared personal narratives, perspectives, and thoughts across a range of features. Much of the content centers around their unique and shared experiences, backgrounds, communities, and places around the city that are important to them.”
Some examples of content from the Seattle issue include a feature on how nice it is to ride Washington state’s ferry system; a story on a reluctant NFL fan being won over by the Seahawks; and quick-hit reviews of local restaurants. There are also several short “Driver’s Side” features that serve as first-person introductions to Uber drivers.
Drivers can grab Vehicle at Uber’s Greenlight Hubs in Seattle and Washington. The print edition is free and free of advertising. Williams said drivers and riders often express an interest in having something to look at and talk about during a ride.
“The idea of a big, immersive magazine came from those conversations,” he said. “The idea was to photograph and write about the Puget Sound region in ways that recognize its local character and global connections. The more we talked about this with drivers, the more we learned that themes of people, place, and community resonated with everyone.”
The first issues are a pilot and Uber will learn from readers what they like and what’s worth sharing.