As buzz about Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, spread throughout tech in early 2016, Uber pounced on the opportunity to let people summon cars with a simple command: “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.”
More than three years later, Uber receives orders for only a few hundred rides a day through Alexa, said a person briefed on the matter. That amounts to less than 0.002% of the more than 15 million total rides Uber provides per day. An Uber spokesperson didn’t have a comment.
For the past few years, Amazon has encouraged people to use Alexa—which powers its Echo smart speakers and other devices—to do everything from control their thermostats to shop online. Numerous businesses tried integrating Alexa into their products. The media helped fuel the hype. “Voice is the next big platform and Alexa will own it,” a 2016 Wired headline proclaimed.