It’s the mobile application that everyone is talking about at the moment causing havoc with its ruthless efficiency and cheap prices from Beijing to San Francisco. It currently operates in 60 countries with a valuation of $50 Billion dollars (£32 Billion).
What is Uber? If you don’t know what Uber is you must have been living under a rock over the past year? Uber is a mobile app that seamlessly connects riders and drivers, where users can choose from a Toyota Prius to an S-Class Mercedes which will show up at your doorstep at a push of a button. The app — which is available on Android and iOS – sells itself as a safe and reliable way to get on-demand rides in most of the world’s major cities.
Using GPS, it detects your location and connects you with the nearest driver. You can also request a specific type of car if you prefer, such as a luxury ride or a straightforward taxi. The app texts you when the driver arrives giving you the drivers photograph, make and model of car and the car registration and the driver mobile number.
The app also gives you a price estimate, and is cashless — you pay through the app, including tips. You can even split the fare between different riders.
This sounds a lot more appealing than queuing up for a cab just off North Street for starters plus you don’t have to worry about fiddling about with cash at end of the journey half drunk. As you all very well know the cabs in Brighton normally starts at £3.80 before you even get into the cab and then continues to increase dramatically.
To many people this may be seen an as act of extortion as your being charged before you have even received a service. To add insult to injury the metre keeps increasing if you take forever to get out of the house another feature of the Brighton Taxi system.
Alternatively you can catch the 25 into town and the N25 when you are coming back from a night out both trips can be equally as painful. Often there is over crowding which results in no seats for you and your mates to sit down. To make matters worse the bus rarely takes you anywhere near to where your house is when you are coming back from town. The bus journey down Lewes Road is normally accompanied with a 10-15 min walk depending where you live which can be a pain in the neck when you’re hungover.
Now I want you to imagine a future cab journey in Brighton using your Uber app, you can preselect the destination to get a fair estimation. Once you’re happy with the price you then request a car from a location that suits you the car shows up within 5 minutes of your requesting it. When you get into the car the driver gives you and your friend’s bottles of water to nurse the hangover. Instead of queuing for a bus or waiting on a taxi rank you’re in a nice warm car being chauffeured directly to your house. The journey ends where a receipt is automatically sent to your email if you so choose you can split bill with your mates to save yourself some money. This can all be done from a smartphone which every student has nowadays.