Uber has turned the limo and cab industry upside down by offering a car service that books rides on demand from smartphones. In eight major cities, including New York, Paris, and Washington D.C., three-year-old startup Uber is aiming to change the cab experience. Users can request vehicles and complete transactions entirely through a mobile app.
Uber recognized a growing frustration that many customers have with the cab industry and saw a largely unperceived opportunity. Uber utilize their technological abilities and innovativeness to challenge the way the transportation industry works. The Washington Times posted a story that highlights the technological differences of Uber and its competition: “Taxis, whose business model has hardly changed since the invention of the taxi meter in the 1940s, have a lot to worry about. Uber was willing to challenge traditional perceptions to seize these new opportunities and possibilities,
Uber is a software company and does not own any of the cars which transport Uber customers. Uber has aligned itself with existing chauffeuring companies. Drivers aren't employed by Uber, but get a cut of each fare instead. These partnerships enable Uber to piggyback on vehicle fleets and manpower, while bringing efficiencies to the operational side of the business through better technology. Uber has been aggressively entering into new markets.
Uber creates efficiencies that don’t exist in traditional limo/cab offerings: upon request for a vehicle, the app sends the picture, name, and direct contact number of your driver to your smartphone. I experienced this unusual Uber service when I was in New York in May 2013. I had a conversation with our driver and learned that substantial resources are devoted to vetting drivers and, once they are on board, regularly check up on them to make sure the standard of service (car cleanliness and so on) remains high.