Uber has launched a ‘schedule a ride’ feature which will let its users book a UberX or UberGO cab up to 30 days in advance in 20 out of Uber’s 28 cities of operation. Uber claims that this feature is the most requested from its international users.
Uber’s ride scheduling will also be available for Uber for Business, the company’s enterprise cab travel management platform. Uber will give “priority access” to users who have a business profile or are on their employer’s Uber for Business platform.
Uber says that a user can cancel their ride at any time before the driver is on their way to pick them up. It will send two reminders, one day and 30 minutes before the scheduled ride will happen, and interestingly, at that point, the user will be told if there’s dynamic pricing on the ride. Users can pay for their scheduled rides by credit and debit cards, wallets and cash. Uber’s usual cancellation policy will be in place for this feature as well.
Note that Ola had launched this feature nearly 3.5 years ago in 2013, 6 months before Uber launched its operations in India. In July 2015, Ola also went app only (it had app, web and phone booking), claiming that 99% of its bookings (over 95% in smaller cities) came through the app, as compared to 20% at the time of launch in 2011.
Last month, Uber launched a web interface where non-Uber-app-possessors could get a UberGO cab from dial.uber.com from the browser. Users did, however, need to login or create an account by first entering their mobile number and or Facebook/Google credentials. This service was live only in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati, and Jodhpur.
Ola’s recent developments:
– Last month, Ola merged TaxiForSure into its app completely to be provided under the Ola micro category. Ola acquired TFS in March 2015 for about $200 million.
– In June, Ola launched a new service called Ola Rentals which would allow users to rent a car on hourly packages.
– In May, it launched Ola Outstation, a cab service from Pune to travel to Lonavala, Mumbai, Nashik and Aurangabad.
– Same month, it launched Ola Lux, a luxury category of cars.
– In April, it launched Ola Electric rickshaws in partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
Uber, on the other hand, has been shutting down some of its features in India:
– Surge pricing in Karnataka and Delhi
– Bike taxi service UberMOTO in Bangalore (two months after launch)
– UberBLACK service in India except Mumbai
– UberAUTO in Delhi and UberINTERCITY in Pune and Mumbai.