Since the early days of Uber, we’ve been excited about the idea of providing transportation so inexpensive and reliable, people can actually sell their cars. Today, we’re announcing a bold experiment straight from the Uber Garage that we believe will be another important step toward that vision, and we’re calling it UberPool.
UberPool – The Idea
The idea is simple. With UberPool, you share a ride—and split the cost—with another person who just happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route. The beauty, though, is that you still get Uber-style on-demand convenience and reliability: just push the button like before and get a car in five minutes. When we find a match, we notify you of your co-rider’s first name.
Why We’re So Excited
While the UberPool idea is simple, the implications are profound. On average, uberX already costs 40% less than taxi. Imagine reducing that cost by up to another 50%! In San Francisco, how about $6 to Uber from the Castro to the Financial District? Or $10 from Sunset to SOMA? At these price points, Uber really is cost-competitive with owning a car, which is a game-changer for consumers.
This is also a bold social experiment. There’s the interaction between riders in an UberPool—should they talk to each other? When is that cool and when is it, well, annoying? We’re going to find out how this brave new world of UberPooling works—we’ll iterate on this beta product and get it right, because the larger social implications of reducing the number of cars on the road, congestion in cities, pollution, parking challenges… are truly inspiring.
When Do We Launch?
This is rolling out immediately in private beta. Because UberPool is an early beta product, there will undoubtedly be kinks and surprises to work through. Throughout the beta, we’ll be training more drivers and getting feedback from initial riders and drivers doing UberPool rides. Our friends at Google will also be joining us in the beta. They share our vision of a more energy-efficient world with less traffic congestion and pollution in our cities and are excited to be early adopters of UberPool. We will expand the beta more broadly on August 15th.
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Today, we are excited to announce that Uber will give $5.5M to support a new robotics faculty chair as well as three fellowships at CMU. This gift is part of a partnership we announced earlier this year. In addition, we’re pumped to be part of a growing innovation ecosystem in Pittsburgh that includes world leading research institutions and companies, as well as an increasing number of start-ups.
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