According to Technology Review, the drones– advertising Uber's car pooling service UberPOOL–are part of Uber's push to expand in Latin America. As Mexiqueños creeped along El DF's notoriously congested freeways this month, squadrons of smug, ad-carrying quad-copters flitted here and there just above the sea of cars. Each one carried a snarky little sign admonishing frustrated drivers for clogging up the freeways with single occupancy cars.
The messages are apparently designed to guilt people into car pooling with UberPOOL. On their surface, they seem to encourage people to be more environmentally conscious. One carries the message, "Driving by yourself? This is why you can never see the volcanoes", a reference to Mexico City's bad smog. Beneath their green veneer however, these signs are meant get the word out about Uber's services and increase their profits.
Bloomberg states that Uber does more business in Mexico City than anywhere else, and Brazil is its third-largest market after the U.S. and India. Whether or not their drone squadrons will increase ridership remains to be seen, but reminding hot, angry, frustrated drivers stopped on a freeway that there are better options for commuting couldn't hurt.