Uber expands driver support in Metro Detroit

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Uber Technologies Inc. has opened an expanded driver support center in Oak Park, growing the Silicon Valley mobility company’s footprint in Metro Detroit.

The company announced Wednesday that the new “Greenlight Hub” will offer in-person technical support for Uber drivers and answer questions from potential drivers. Uber estimates there are hundreds of drivers in the Metro Detroit area.

The new hub replaces a now-closed smaller center the company had in Allen Park. The facility on 10 Mile just east of Coolidge Highway will be staffed by eight people.

“We are excited to launch our new Greenlight Hub to support driver-partners in the Detroit area,” Ben Pietrowski, Uber greenlight hub manager, said in a news release. “Whether it’s signing up to drive or asking questions about the app, we hope this facility will serve as a good resource.”

The expanded help center opened just a few months after Uber announced plans to open an advanced technology office in Wixom this year.

Sherif Marakby, vice president of global vehicle programs for Uber, said in January that the Wixom office will serve as center to help it integrate autonomy into automakers’ vehicles.

“Many of our engineers were coming to Detroit on day trips and visiting and working with companies,” he said then. “A lot of the talent actually comes from Detroit. So it just felt like the right thing to do to actually have a place for people to work from.”

Markaby said Uber will work with Tier 1 auto suppliers, who are making the hardware for autonomous vehicles and automotive manufacturers.

Uber already has hired a few people to staff the office that ultimately has capacity for 100 employees. He expects the office will open with a “handful” of employees.

“We’ll grow from there,” he said in January. “We have a lot of openings.”


Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

Melissa Burden of The Detroit News contributed