ubiCabs is a minicab search app for Greater London, where users can securely order a mini cab and then use the app to track its progress. The app wants to banish the 'five minutes away' promise, frequently made when you call to check the cabs progress.
According to co-founder Lorenzo Caffarri, 150,000 minicab journeys are made per day in London, but minicabs are empty 45% of the time. ubiCabs aims to make the journey more efficient for passengers and encourage more people to use minicabs.
ubiCabs is free to download. Before you begin you'll need to set up an account where you can register credit card details (instantly a huge advantage for those occasions when you don't have cash on you), or you can pay by account.
The app uses GPS to find your location, you then select the end point of your journey using an address or via the map. ubiCabs searches for local minicab companies for availability and provides a quote including expected arrival time. You can confirm the booking or adjust the type of vehicle, number of passengers and add any extra information, such as if you need help with luggage (above right.) The app offers airport runs within the London area and you can even enter your flight number and quantity of luggage.
Once the booking is confirmed you get a text with the name of the company, phone number and price (above right). As long as you've got a good connection the whole process is incredibly fast, finding a cab in well under a minute. Cancelling a booking is easy, although another text confirming the taxi isn’t coming would be useful.
When the cab is outside a text is sent to your phone including the drivers name and mobile number, although you don't get the car registration plate - something we'd like to see added in a future update
One of our favourite feature of uniCabs is the ability to send your location via SMS, Email or Facebook from within the cab (right) via the app, providing piece of mind for nervous passengers.
ubiCabs is a fantastic idea that in practice works very well. Anyone who uses London's public-transport system regularly should download it.