Uber has a super ambitious goal to “provide transportation so inexpensive and reliable, people can actually sell their cars.” And while Uber touts that its service costs 40 percent less than taxis, on average, riding with Uber still feels like a taxi-esque service, at least in terms of cost and method. You call Uber, Uber picks you up, Uber takes you (and only you) to your destination.
Now, it looks like Uber wants to really emphasize the ‘sharing’ part of ride-sharing. The company has announced UberPool, which is basically Uber with the option to stop and pick up other passengers during any route.
Of course, the passengers will split the bill.
UberPool works like regular Uber, except it looks for matches – other people looking for rides that happen to be taking a similar route as the original passenger. Uber says that UberPool could reduce ride costs by another 40 percent.
There’s also the added bonus of the always creepy-sounding “social experiment”:
“This is also a bold social experiment. There’s the interaction between riders in an UberPool—should they talk to each other? When is that cool and when is it, well, annoying? We’re going to find out how this brave new world of UberPooling works—we’ll iterate on this beta product and get it right, because the larger social implications of reducing the number of cars on the road, congestion in cities, pollution, parking challenges… are truly inspiring.”
UberPool launches in private beta in San Francisco today, and will expand as Uber sees fit. UberPool will likely seem a great idea to those looking to save a buck, who have no problem with sharing rides. Other might scoff at the idea of sharing rides with strangers, even though that’s exactly what they’re doing every time they get in an Uber car.
Image via Uber