Online cab hailing company Uber has introduced a new ride option called Premier. The option will be introduced as a pilot in Mumbai and Pune first where the company will offer select riders Premier as an in-app product option that serves as an upgrade to their current uberX experience. Uber says that it is targeting users who are looking to get the comfort of their private cars and reduce private car ownership.
Premier will have:
- High-comfort, economy-range sedans. But it did not mention which cars that riders will get.
- Drivers should have completed 1000+ lifetime trips and acknowledged by riders via the Driver Compliments feature and ratings.
- ‘Enhanced customer support’ after a ride. No details on what enhanced support were given in the press release.
- Uber says that Premier rides will be available at UberX fares in Mumbai and Pune.
- The company says that Premier will have drivers who have 40% shorter pickup time than the predicted arrival time.
At the moment, in India, Uber has Moto (a bike taxi option), Pool (car sharing option), Go (economy class), X (sedan class), Black (SUV and high-end cars), and Hire (for day -long trips).
Meanwhile, rival Ola launched its Select program over a year ago in last August. When it started, the company based the program based on frequent usage of Ola and offered free WiFi, no-cost upgrades, discounts. The Select program now offers features like no peak pricing at any time, priority booking, Prime cabs at Mini fares, free WiFi, priority support, airport lounge access, top drivers and cars, Ola events like concerts and matches and offers from brands it has partnered with. Users can pay for these memberships through Ola Money, credit and debit cards and net banking.
Meanwhile, To challenge Ola’s Ola Play system, Uber has rolled out its infotainment system for riders in Mumbai for around 350 cabs last month. Uber has partnered with a Mumbai-based startup OnRoute to implement the system. The startup will provide head-rests, which have tablets embedded into them. Users will have to sign in with their phone number to receive an OTP to access the system using Uber’s app on their phones. It will serve interactive ads, offering discounts and coupons to the riders, play customized content, for instance, video content based on your destination and will be personalized using the user’s video consumption history.
Update: An earlier version of the story mentioned that Premier will upgrade an UberGo ride. Uber has issued a clarification and reflects the same. The mistake is regretted.