Will Uber’s Latest Feature Be The Final Nail In The Taxi Coffin?

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt high court will hold a hearing on a recent lawsuit brought against Uberpop by Taxi Deutschland on Tuesday.  San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. The company has faced regulatory scrutiny and court injunctions from its early days, even as it has expanded rapidly into roughly 150 cities around the world.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)
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Ride-hailing app Uber has launched a new feature which will let third party app developers deliver content to passengers while they’re travelling.

The feature called “Uber Trip Experiences” would be specifically tailored to the passengers location and the length of their ride. The third party app will ask permission from the Uber user to get details about their trip including:

  • That they may have free time (they are on a trip with Uber)
  • The state of their trip (arriving/in progress)
  • How much time they have (estimated time to pickup and destination)
  • Where the Uber is at the moment (current location)
  • Where they’re coming from (pickup location)
  • Where they’re going (destination location)

Using this context, the developer can send innovative experiences to the Uber user while they’re on a trip. Some examples of experiences include sending news bulletin, a playlist which last the duration of the trip or reviews for the restaurant or bar you’re travelling to.

Head of product for Uber’s development platform Chris Saad said in the company’s blog post: “During the holidays, we completed our billionth trip.  Added together that’s a lot of time riders spend in an Uber.  Which got us thinking … what if developers could also offer users of their apps new ways to enjoy themselves — or get stuff done — while they’re on the road?

“We know that people’s time is precious and sometimes passengers just want to sit back and relax in peace.  So users will be in complete control.  They will need to give permission before any app can connect to Uber and access their trip details.”

Uber advises developers on Trip Experience ‘best practice’ such as don’t spam the passenger, don’t kill the phone battery and pick a great moment to send a request (when the user is waiting for the car or during the trip).

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