UberCab: Roll In Style With On Demand Car Service

July 12, 2010

1:21 am

Tired of trying to flag down taxi cabs on the street? This is bound to happen to all of us if you are in a big city long enough. To help combat the problem UberCab recently launched an iPhone application and service that gives you access to a professional driver and on demand car service.

We got the inside scoop about UberCab at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March as the team tested out the service. We were pleased to get chauffeured around the city in a comfortable black town car and it was a great way to travel in style.

Since SXSW, UberCab has launched it’s iPhone application and service in San Francisco. We reached out to UberCab CEO and longtime TECH cocktailer Ryan Graves (@ryangraves) with a few questions about the application launch and the new on demand car service.

Who is the ideal UberCab user?
There are tons of different “ideal” users. A guy trying to impress his lady on a date, a business man who needs efficient transport from meeting to meeting, or a person in need of a safe ride home after a night out. Basically, anyone who needs a dependable, on-demand car service.

You started testing UberCab at SXSW, can you share how that test has shaped the product both positively and/or negatively?
The SXSW test was awesome. We were in a great city (Austin) that was packed with beta testers and people who geek out on efficiency, and that’s what Uber is all about. People also love that they can watch the car arrive in the app. The data that we’re collecting and showing to the user really sets us apart.

How does UberCab differ from other taxi cab applications?
First, we’re not working with normal taxis. We have a network of elite town cars and professional drivers that really ‘wow’ people. Also, we’re not just a request service. UberCab users have an account with credit card on file so the transaction is cashless and simple. Users get a car with one touch in the app, or one text message with your address.

How does UberCab make money, what’s the business model?
UberCab takes a percentage of each ride.

UberCab currently offers an iPhone app, is there an android app in the works too?
We’re definitely planning on bringing UberCab to Android. We love the openness of the Android market place and we’re excited to service that HUGE market. However, any user can use UberCab via SMS right now. Just text your address to 827-222.

What is your rollout strategy for UberCab (just SF, other cities)?
We’re currently just in SF because we want to make sure that the service we offer is awesome and we couldn’t do that in every city right away. We’re super excited about coming to Chicago and other cities this year.

So far, what have customers really enjoyed about UberCab?
Customers love the simplicity and efficiency that UberCab offers, there’s no app that makes it this easy to get such a quality car experience. We allow everyone to have the private driver experience!

If you still have questions about UberCab be sure to watch the demo video (below).

UberCab Demo from UberCab on Vimeo.

If you are in San Francisco you can try the service for yourself by signing up at UberCab. Be sure to bring your Grey Poupon.

Let us know what you think of the service in the comment section below.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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