Uber expands service with two pilot schemes

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Uber has announced two new pilots in the USA.

uberHOP from Uber is a new service which is being piloted in Seattle, and began on Thursday, December 10. It functionality effectively turns passenger cars into small buses, and it will be available along select routes during commuting hours.

Users open the app and select uberHOP, then choose a route and request an uberHOP. The service will then pair them up with a driver as well as other commuters traveling in the same direction, providing directions for where and when to get picked up.

At the end of the journey, the user will be dropped off at a pre-destined stop, from which they can walk the last few minutes to work.

The second trial is uberCOMMUTE, designed for drivers who want to share their commute and recoup the cost of the trip. The trial is ongoing throughout the Chicagoland area from 0600 to 2200hrs, Monday to Friday.

Users sign up with Uber, which will check drivers’ licences and driving records. On the days which a driver is driving to work and wants to share the ride, they can switch on the app and Uber will pair them up with someone going the same way.

Passengers can switch on the app and select uberPOOL, choose the ‘commuters’ and enter a pickup location as well as the destination. Uber will then pair them up with a fellow commuter on the way to or from work so they can share the cost of the journey.

Uber said: “These two pilots are an app-based version of something that’s already happening every day. Casual carpools have taken off in places like Washington DC and the East Bay in Northern California.

“With casual carpools, commuters line up at prearranged points. Drivers pull up with a sign in their window showing their destination and passengers going to the same place jump in. By using technology we can make this process more convenient, more reliable and safer.”