Uber testing car ‘smart routes’ in San Francisco

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

Uber is trialling ‘smart routes,’ in San Francisco, which aims to turn cars into pseudo-buses.

The Independent reported that the new feature shows green lines on busy streets, indicating the common routes that Ubers are taking. Users can then tell the app that they want to be picked up on that main street, and soon after an UberPool car will pull up, with other customers already inside.

The feature is an extension of UberPool, which lets people share their cars and split their fare. If users get picked up on the smart routes, they’ll get a $1 discount or more taken off their usual UberPool price.

The tool is meant to make journeys quicker for drivers, allowing them to complete more UberPool journeys in less time. Users get cheaper journeys, in exchange for sometimes having to walk slightly more to get their car.

Uber didn’t rule out bringing the new functionality elsewhere.

Uber has been testing a similar service called ‘perpetual ride,’ which will allow cars to pick up passengers whenever they have a seat empty, rather than doing one UberPool journey and then setting off on another.