Uber actually has a policy for when babies are born in the back of its vehicles. Customers whose newborns see their first light in the back of an Uber are gifted an “Uber Rider Onesie,” while drivers are given tickets to a sports match and have their cars cleaned for free.
One driver on the Uberpeople forum, an online discussion board for drivers and employees, explains:
It’s standard practice in NYC. If we hear of a baby born in a car or someone requesting an Uber to get to the hospital and give birth, they will get a onesie. Some even send in pictures of the baby afterwards, and all of us female CSRs get all mushy over it.
Uber rewards drivers who encounter these (probably quite stressful) scenarios. Also on the Uber forum, a member says that the driver involved in the New York excitement was given a pair of tickets to see the NY Knicks basketball team.
The car-booking app, renowned for its fluffy PR stunts, sends customers (a select few, nowadays) its “Uber Rider Onesies” if a baby is born in an Uber, but also, on occasion, if soon-to-be-parents simply choose Uber rather than an ambulance to get them to/back from hospital.
Uber’s dip into the fashion industry has resulted in a black and white onesie that displays the company’s now-famous “U” on the front. They look like this:
People really do travel in Ubers to give birth. Actress Jaime King did, and last year she recalled her story to US TV presenter Conan O’Brien. According to the show, she thought taking an ambulance was “too melodramatic” so opted for Uber instead. Soon, there were calls to get King one of Uber’s coveted onesies.
Uber has revealed how the idea was first born on its blog: CEO Travis Kalanick and Nirav Tolia, CEO of Nextdoor, were on a plane together talking about how Tolia was expecting his first child. Kalanick also mentioned stories of expectant mothers using Uber to go to hospital, or coming home from them with their newborns — and that’s when the lightbulb moment happened.
“You should give those babies onesies!” Tolia told Kalanick.
Tolia’s newborn, Deven, was given one of the first. Kalanick had managed to make the clothing line a reality in a matter of weeks, and the Tolia family used Uber to get home after the birth with a driver called Kamal.
Here they are about to go home after the birth:
And here’s a great picture of Deven in his onesie:
When Uber first launched its range of onesies, people could request them via a Google Doc. But it seems they quickly got far too popular, because that service is now unavailable and the onesies now appear few and far between. There are a few public exchanges between Uber and customers, usually in the US — but not many.
A US keynote speaker called Mark Jeffries managed to bag one back in 2013:
Here’s someone in Seattle, who looks happy to be in the #Uberfamily
And here’s a woman from London whose baby has an Uber Rider Onesie. It looks like she’s an Uber employee, though:
Earlier this month a new father in Brooklyn, New York, tweeted a photo of his wife giving birth in the back of an Uber, the New York Post reports.
The couple were in an Uber on the way to hospital, but they weren’t going to make it, so the driver pulled up by the side of the road and that’s where the baby was born. On Twitter, Artnet writes, Horvitz posted an image of the slightly bloodied back seat of the car and commented, “have you ever delivered a baby in the backseat of an@uber? I have.”
Oh look, another Uber Baby: