Yet more bad news for cab firms. Uber has announced a ‘Scheduled Rides’ feature is on the way that will let users book a ride in advance.
The Uber Scheduled Rides feature within the popular Android, iOS and Windows Mobile app will allow a journey to be booked from within 15 minutes to a maximum of 30 days ahead, so there is no need to worry if a car will be around for that 4:30am airport journey.
The feature will roll out to Uber for Business customers from 4pm on the 25th of August, 2016. Uber Scheduled Rides will then begin rolling out to all two million London users within the next fortnight.
The process of booking a time slot will be handled by Uber internally so it is unclear how it will divvy up journeys to Uber drivers. Typically, it is up to a driver to respond to a ride request in the area as and when it is made.
This is obviously bad news for cab firms that really only set themselves apart with advanced bookings and are now starting to feel the effects of the night tube in London.
Uber general manager Tom Elvidge said: “Many of our riders, especially business customers, have asked us to introduce this feature and we’re really excited to bring it to Londoners from today.”
“Whether it’s having a car ready at the end of a meeting or to take you to the airport, scheduling your Uber in advance means there’s one less thing to worry about,” he added.
Uber Scheduled Rides was originally launched in Chicago back in June. London will be the first European city to get the service.
Letting Uber users book ahead is obviously a useful and obvious move, but just how reliable will it prove and what happens if a driver is kept waiting or turns up late? Does the surcharge still apply if you book for the early hours in advance? We are keen to find out.
Uber recently branched with the launch of UberEats, a food delivery service that is a competitor to Deliveroo. The Uber app is available to download for free.