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CAFU and Ford Partner Up for Predictive Refuelling

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Ford and CAFU have announced a new strategic partnership to reinvent the refuelling experience through Ford’s SYNC communications and entertainment system in the United Arab Emirates. As part of CAFU’s vision of convenience in motion, the technology tie-up will mean that Ford and Lincoln customers will be able to order fuel seamlessly and directly from their infotainment systems. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership and service in the region and is now available to citizens and residents of the UAE.

The partnership between CAFU and Ford aims to enable further convenience for Ford and Lincoln customers in making refuelling simpler, smarter, and in line with its strategic mission for placing convenience firmly at the heart of their service. “Our partnership with Ford marks a new era of convenience in motion enabled by technology and innovative thinking. It is another step forward in our long-term vision for CAFU of making life better through greater car connectivity, predictive enabled features, and innovation evolving the consumer experience towards further convenience and ease of use to make operating a car simpler and smarter. Ford and Lincoln customers in the UAE will now be able to make the refuelling experience predicative and easier than ever before with CAFU, making visiting and queuing up at a petrol station a thing of the past,” said CAFU Founder and CEO, Rashid Al Ghurair.

Ravi Ravichandran, Middle East Executive Director at Ford Direct Markets, said, “At Ford, customers are our top priority and we strive to do the very best in providing them with complete peace of mind. The unique partnership with CAFU through the SYNC infotainment system in our Ford and Lincoln vehicles underscores our commitment and demonstrates our efforts to better serve our customers in the UAE.”

In the drive towards ongoing innovation by both companies, the partnership will benefit Ford and Lincoln customers in the UAE owning 2017 model year vehicles onwards, that is equipped with SYNC communications and entertainment system. The integration will allow customers to connect to their CAFU account via Bluetooth on their Android Operating System enabling them to make a refueling order while keeping their eyes on the road.

In a move to enable further ease of use, Ford and Lincoln customers will also be able to use the infotainment systems voice command option to book their refueling slots anytime and anywhere.

As part of the technology integration, the teams at CAFU and Ford have worked to build unique predictive features that will alert the customer to refuel when the fuel level gauge hits 20 percent or less. A pop-up prompt to refuel will automatically appear, leading to the next available CAFU refueling slot based on the selected location notified by the customer.

With CAFU’s on demand refueling service operating across parts of the UAE, customers will be able to refuel on the go at the same price as the petrol station with no delivery fees saving time and avoiding queues. According to an IPSOS study, UAE residents are estimated to spend an average of 10 minutes waiting in line for fuel at a petrol station. Therefore, this partnership is set to transform the customers driving experience across the nation, opening the door to greater convenience by saving time and avoiding queues at petrol stations.

Since CAFU began operating in the UAE in 2018 as the first on-demand fuel delivery service in the MENA region, more and more drivers have signed up to its offer of fuel anytime, anywhere. In November last year, the innovative start up surpassed two million fills and continues to rapidly grow due to the value placed by consumers on convenience through the on-demand and contactless nature of the service.

With the Ford partnership announced today by CAFU, it is advancing its ambition to provide innovative car services all with just a few clicks of a smartphone or voice commands in your car enabling the way it’s run and operated to be seamless and effortless. It marks the next step towards a new era of car ownership that is simpler, smarter, and powered by technology.

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UAE Entrepreneurs Launch Private Messaging App

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UAE-based entrepreneurs have launched a private messaging app, which enables users to send voice and written messages that disappear as soon as they are sent, read, and played. “The application called Oh!Message, brings users back to the classical period of simple communications tools, but by using the best privacy-enhancing features, to be the first chat application with this high privacy developed in the ME region by Arab expertise,” said Mohammed Othman and Haian Nayouf, the makers of the app.

With this free app, the sent message will disappear from the sender’s account after 10 seconds if it is read by the recipient or not, and it will also disappear from the recipient’s account after 10 seconds of opening or playing it. The message will be destroyed completely within the application and will not be stored on the app servers. Each written message is limited to 100 characters while the audio message is 10 seconds.

“Oh!Message is end-to-end encrypted but it has also other features that make it the most private app among messaging apps,” said Engineer Mohammed Othman, Co-Founder and Chief of Technology at Oh!Message. “In this app, which is available in Apple and Android stores, the user doesn’t appear online while using it, and his/her location is not tracked.”

“The first period of the app launch is in the UAE, the Gulf region, and Arab countries,” said Haian Nayouf, Co-Founder and Chief of Communications at Oh!Message. “The UAE is the capital for talent, companies, and investments in the areas of digital and technical excellence globally, and this has greatly motivated us to work on this project in UAE, and the app is the first of its kind in the Arab world with these strong privacy features.”

The app is now available for both iOS and Android devices.

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Taiwan’s First International Streaming Platform Called Taiwan+ is Now Live

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Taiwan Plus (Taiwan+), the first English-language international streaming platform of Taiwan, was unveiled by Vice President Lai Ching-te, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te, Central News Agency (CNA) Chairman Liu Ka-shiang, Taiwan+ CEO Joanne Tsai, and H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis at the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei on Aug. 30.

Targeting an English-speaking audience, Taiwan+ consists of media professionals from the U.S., the U.K, Canada, France, and Australia, as well as local industry professionals, who work collaboratively to deliver the latest news about Taiwan, international affairs, and covers a wide range of topics. The platform also sources stories from Taiwan’s public and private media organizations.

Golden Melody-award-winning singer Sanpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw opened the event with a music performance. Held with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the event was joined by representatives including Izumi Hiroyasu from Japan, Jordan Reeves from Canada, Andrew Wylegala and Don Shapiro from the U.S., and Henry Chang and Giuseppe Izzo from Europe.

H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of the Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis in Taiwan said the international video platform is expected to connect Taiwan with the world. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her pleasure to join the launch of Taiwan+ with a video message, saying “Taiwan+ is an exciting new initiative to tell Taiwan’s story. Generations of Taiwanese fought to transform this country into a vibrant democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression.”

Premier Su Tseng-chang wished the platform success. He stressed that Taiwan is a democratic and free country guided by the rule of law, and cares about universal values of human rights, freedom of speech, and diversity, noting that this is why many countries are willing to make friends and do business with Taiwan. Vice President Lai said, “I hope that the platform can be the starting point from which the world learns about what Taiwanese people think and want, what Taiwan is doing, and what we can contribute to the world.”

Legislative Speaker, You noted that, with China’s intimidation and political oppression against Taiwan, the establishment of Taiwan+ allows Taiwan to tell its stories to the world through its voices. Taiwan+, a project commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to the CNA, marks an important milestone in the country’s history of mass media, Minister Lee said. He expressed his gratitude to legislators and professionals for making this happen.

“I hope to make this platform a form of expansion, connection, and infinite possibilities, just like how Taiwan incorporates ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, and introduce Taiwan to the world through dynamic storytelling and news,” said Tsai, a senior media professional with over 25 years of experience in international media outlets, such as NBC/CNBC, National Geographic, and Fox International Channels.

The content of Taiwan+ can be played on the Taiwan Plus app or viewed on its website and social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

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“Selfdrive” Launches Smart Mobility App

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Selfdrive, an entity of Pinewoods Tech Serve, has launched an all-in-one Smart Mobility App. The app is serving as a game-changer for the car rental space offering its users a seamless, reliable, and convenient mechanism to rent a car on demand. The cutting-edge mobile app provides direct access to dealership fleet to its users, allowing them to rent a car by the day, subscribe by the month, or lease a car up to 3 years, offering complete flexibility in booking duration.

The company to date has served over 50k customers and witnessed a 30% MoM growth in customer base in the past six months. The app is built on a proprietary tech foundation concept, Search – Select – Pay, that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to match customers’ profiles with the cars that they would like to drive, making the selection process and renting a car absolutely seamless experience.

This app is available to download on Android and iOS, which offers users the option to select from 65 different car models across 15 different car brands from 45 different locations in the UAE within three hours. Some of the key brands available to rent are Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Renault, Mazda, Infinity, Volkswagen (VW), BMW, and many more.

Speaking about the launch of its app, Soham Shah, CEO, and Co-Founder of Selfdrive said, “As one of the largest car rental service providers in the UAE, we strive to offer exceptional service to our customers every step of the way. We bring together exclusive offers on the app starting from AED 49 per day and AED 999 per month. That’s not all, with the launch of ‘Lease Pro’ in this app, users can now rent a brand new ‘Zero Km’ car under its 12 – 24 – 36 months subscription that would be exclusively registered on demand by the car dealer.”

“The smart mobility platform is a testament of our commitment to curate best deals on cars direct from the dealership, whilst making it possible for anyone to rent a car on demand and get it delivered too. This alleviates the hassle of going through multiple car rental agencies to find the best car models and rates on offer,” added Shah.

The Car rental market accounted for $86 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $131 billion by 2026, projecting a CAGR of about 7% during the forecast period. Selfdrive launched in 2017 is the UAE’s largest car rental tech platform that has crossed 2000 cars on road.

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