Monday, September 23, 2013

Uber: My One and Only Experience In a Porshe

And perhaps my one in a lifetime experience, which may be the most likely scenario given my current career trajectory and how I don’t explicitly put monetary gain as one of my life’s goals. Provided that I don’t ever gain use this new cool app recommended by my friend Joshua called Uber that is. 


but oh well, it's still a porshe


In the local slang, Uber is an atas (meaning high class) taxi booking app that has been in operation in several major cities around the world, for example New York, Seoul, Dubai and now  Singapore. It is a redefinition of how taxi bookings are done in Singapore, where almost everything from the booking to the payment itself are done through the app, which is a far cry away from the traditional phone calling and entering your postcode process. 

Thanks to a random conversation between my seniors the other day after a meeting, I was introduced to the app and a discussion of how awesome the app is itself. Rather than just calling a number, entering a new postcode every time you’re at a new location and wait to see if a taxi is available, Uber puts all the information needed at the tip of your hands. No more troublesome procedures such as having to find the postcode number or long waiting time without even knowing that if a cab is available.

Uber relies heavily on GPS, from the booking of the cab itself (your pickup point can be triangulated straight to where you are standing) to tracking the cab's progress, which I think is awesome because it is very accurate and displays a lot of different information that you can use to plan your journey better. Rather than wondering if it’s indeed the case that there is no cab in your area, you can actually view the amount of taxis that are available in your area through the app. It displays Uber affliated cabs on the map in the app and if tracks your cab (its position and estimated arrival time) should you book one. So no more mindless waiting around.


you can see your designated car, distance and a whole host of other information while waiting


The only downside is that the app requires your credit card information when you sign up, which can be quite a barrier if you’re the paranoid type who is not comfortable with sharing your credit card information online. I was fine with it because the debit card number that I gave consist of very little money anyway so they can’t really steal a lot even if they wanted to there’s not much in the account that they can steal anyway. The benefit of having this system however, outweighs the seemingly downside of it because all of your payments will be made automatically from your card, meaning that you don’t have to worry about drivers scolding you anymore for giving them a 50 dollar note when the fare is only 11.10. Best of all, you don’t even to swipe your card or anything. You just simply call a cab, get in and then get out. Everything else is already done for you online electronically. 

Other than that, you will also receive an electronic receipt that will be sent to your email directly after your ride with details of your ride such as the cost and route taken itself, which is helpful in helping you see how the ride has been. And like every other app, you can rate your ride and give a review after that, and that helps in letting you see which taxis are good and stuff when you book.


some of the info you get on the receipt


I personally had the chance to use the app with 40 dollars off my first ride, thanks to a code given to me by Joshua and though it still scrape off 11 dollars off my card, I still find the trip to be quite awesome, with the ease of booking and speed of the entire process itself. Personally if you have some cash lying around and would like to impress a girl, Uber is the way to go. Because seriously, how often can you ride in a Porshe?


"excuse me but I don't think I'm dressed appropriately enough for this ride"


Uber only caters to premium taxis services for now in Singapore, so if you’re one of the budget conscious people you might consider staying off the service for now. I heard that there’s a chance it may move to the normal taxis but for now, it can be considered one of the more luxurious apps but hey, what’s wrong with spending a little bit more once in a while right?

You just have to hope that you don't lose your phone or anything because people can just Uber all their rides all the way without having to log in or anything.


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