Uber launches new service that will allow riders to request a ride within 1 hour of pickup
LAS VEGAS — Uber Inc. Inc., the nation’s biggest ride-hailing company, has rolled out a new service, which is intended to help drivers quickly access their vehicle and allow riders who have dropped off a vehicle to get in and out within 1 minute.
The new feature, which will be available in the United States on Monday, is the latest step in Uber’s ongoing quest to transform itself from a technology company that provides a simple way for riders to book a ride into a vehicle-hail company with a global reach.
Uber, the second-largest U.S. ride-sharing company, is already in a race with Lyft Inc. for the market share of people who hail a car to ride in a car and pay cash to a driver.
Uber has said it plans to add a $1-per-ride fee in the U.K. and a similar fee in Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2018.
Uber and Lyft declined to comment on the U,U.K., fee.
The new service is available in select U.s. cities.
“This is a major milestone in our journey to make ride-to-hire the most convenient way to get around,” said Anthony Levandowski, Uber’s vice president of global operations.
“With this new feature we will finally be able to meet the needs of drivers in the most efficient way possible, enabling them to continue to drive as efficiently as possible, and keep costs down.”
Levandowski said Uber was launching a new app, the new UberCincinnati, which lets drivers request a car from a smartphone app in just 1 minute and has an additional fee for the driver.
The app will be rolled out in New York, Chicago, Dallas and Houston in the coming days, he said.
UberCincinnati is a mobile app that lets drivers choose a car, a driver and then the Uber app to book it.
The app will also be available globally by the third quarter of 2019, Levandowski said.
The service is Uber’s third attempt at adding a cash option for drivers in North America, and it marks a change for Uber from the ride-in-cab business model, which relies on the use of a smartphone.
The company had been working to launch a cash-based business model in the future, Levagoidesaid in an interview in January.
“In the next few months we are looking at more ways to improve the customer experience,” Levagoisaid, who was named chief executive of Uber in July.
“And the way we are going to improve it is to allow more people to ride, more people have a choice of a car.
And that will be in the app.”
UberCindy, a smartphone-based app, was launched in November 2015.
The service lets users request a pickup from a nearby Uber driver, pay a minimum of $1, then pick up their car and drop off it in less than 30 seconds.
The payment process takes just minutes.
Uber’s current app lets drivers hail a vehicle and pay a $5 fee, but it charges a $0.10 fee for each additional passenger in the car.
In addition, UberCindys app requires drivers to hold the smartphone connected to the app and to use a smartphone camera to record the driver, or else it will not recognize the driver as a driver, Uber said.
The driver can then drop off their vehicle in the same area without requiring the passenger to unlock the car, the company said.
In March, Uber started testing a $3-per to $5-per fee for drivers, a change that had a big impact on drivers who had to wait in the cold winter for their cars to be picked up.
Uber and Lyft drivers in New Jersey have been paid a total of $3.7 million by the time the new service launches in the next couple of weeks, according to Uber’s latest annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The average monthly payment for New Jersey drivers is $1.6 million.