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Uber is testing ad displays for its cars

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some Uber drivers have independently been putting ad displays on top of their cars, but now the ride-hailing company has teamed with startup Cargo for a small test of officially deploying ads to drivers in Atlanta.

Why it matters: This could be a new revenue source for Uber, which has been under heavy pressure to move towards profitability.

The details: Drivers who put the ads on their cars can make $40 for their first 20 hours of driving each week, with an extra $10 for every five additional hours, with a maximum of $150 per week. There's a $150 security deposit as well.

  • The displays are provided by Cargo, a New York-based startup and existing partner best known for its boxes of snacks and other items that ride-hailing drivers can sell to passengers for extra cash.
  • Like the snack boxes, the ad deal can help drivers make more money and offset some of their frustration with declining earnings.
  • "This is a very limited pilot, which we would look to expand only if successful," an Uber spokesperson told Axios.  

The intrigue: As part of Uber’s partnership with Cargo for these car tops, Uber, as well as Cargo, will get a cut of the advertising revenue, Axios has learned.