Uber Launches New Carpooling App for Drivers in China

Uber Launches New Carpooling App for Drivers in China 1 photo
Photo: Uber
Say you’re living on a long distance trip, but you’d like to save some cash. You could start making phone calls on the way, see if there’s a way to split the costs. Or you could use one of the existing apps to find a fellow motorist with the same problem.
The most recent statistics we could find on fast search dates to 2009, and it shows that carpooling represented 43.5% of all trips in the United States and 10% of commute trips. However, most of the cases (over 60%) were shared trips with family members. It appears that Uber is planning to change that with a new app they have just launched in Chengdu, China.

According to their blog post, drivers sign into the app and tell Uber where they are going. It then shows requests from riders who are traveling in the same direction as well as the payment they will receive for the trip. It’s up to the driver whether or not he accepts the request; just like the taxi system works.

Apparently, they chose China to pilot the new app – the first time the transportation giant launched a new global product outside the US – because of “the tremendous appetite amongst Chinese drivers and riders for creative new easy to get from A to B, affordably and reliably”.

If everything works out well, they will expand the service to other cities throughout the world. Here’s more of the company’s announcement:

When people can push a button and get a ride in minutes they are less likely to drive themselves — so instead of thirty people using their own cars, you have one car serving them all. But that is just the start. In many cities, such as San Francisco, New York, Chengdu or Paris, so many people now use Uber that there are a ton of duplicate rides — passengers wanting to get to the exact same place at the exact same time. With services like uberCOMMUTE and uberPOOL we’re making it possible for them to share the ride.“
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