I recently was told about an app that was called Uber when looking for a cab late on a Saturday night. When I first heard about it my thoughts were “what is an uber?” my friend got me to download the app onto my phone and put my details in there. It took 5 minutes and soon after I was able to order an Uber car. So what is Uber? 5 minutes later I had a Black BMW pull up and a friendly driver inviting me in.
Uber is a service that allows any regular licensed car owner to essentially become their own self-employed taxi and give lifts to people who order an uber car through the uber app. It is basically allowing a regular person to become a taxi driver without having to pay for the expensive license plate.
So why uber instead of a normal taxi? Well generally an Uber vehicle is cheaper than a taxi and the drivers are all people who are just trying to make some extra cash. Whether it is to pay for their University expenses or to help support their family. Uber allows people to become self-employed and offers them flexibility in time of work.
The way the app works is simple, you open it up and select the pickup point before you press on the button and order the uber car. It then relays the information to uber drivers around the area. When an uber driver accepts the request, he is given directions on how to find you based on the location of your GPS. The app gives you an accurate ETA and allows you to even see where the uber car is on the map.
So why jump into a random person’s car?
Well uber makes an effort to interview want to be drivers and there are specific criteria that uber drivers have to meet in order to become an uber driver. One of these criteria’s is to have a car model later than 2007 in order to ensure that the passengers are comfortable.
A lot of issues have been raised with the safety aspect of Uber. However when you order an Uber vehicle both you (the person ordering it) and the Driver will have each other’s details about one another. As a driver you don’t have to worry about people skipping their fairs as it is all digitised as the passengers uber account is linked to their credit card.
In the last month I have used uber a couple of times and to be honest, my experiences have been great and the level of service has been ever greater than the taxi services. However there is a downside and that is that you may not be able to get an uber car everywhere at any time. However uber allows you to order taxis through the app also.
Uber is just one example of how technological innovation can have an impact on our lives and save us a bit of cash whilst also offering convenience.