Uber has just launched a new service called Uber Central that lets business users arrange Uber rides for clients. The people being picked up by this service do not need to have an Uber account or use Uber at all (they don’t even need to have the app). The purpose of this service is to make driving clients around any town simpler.
Uber has had a lot of trouble in a lot of different places. In various cities, the company is not welcomed with open arms from taxi unions. In other parts of the world, hailing an Uber can be dangerous. Some people just don’t trust Uber, and Uber hasn’t had it easy in every market that it attempts to tap.
It makes sense for the company to appeal to the business world. If Uber can become indispensable to business clientele, the company can stay afloat in all kinds of different areas - even those that are currently in the middle of an Uber scuffle. So who might use Uber Central?
Some Great Potential
There are various types of businesses that might use Uber Central. Car dealerships are one. Ever been stuck at a dealership without a loaner car? Well, Uber Central might be able to fix that. Another good target for Uber Central is nursing homes or homes for the physically disabled. Uber Central drivers can pick up and drop off anyone needing a ride.
There’s big business too. Companies with clients flying into cities on business trips often use chauffer services to make sure clients get from meeting to dinner and to hotel. With Uber Central, those rates might be halved. Plus, Uber has a complete screening process in place for Uber Central making rides back and forth for business clientele safe and efficient.
How do people being picked up from Uber Central know when a driver has arrived if they do not have an Uber app? The logic here is simple enough. Uber will send a SMS message to the person that is supposed to be picked up. That message will come with a map and details about where the Uber driver is located.
From there, passengers just look for the car and get into the car when it arrives. Simple. The person ordering the Uber Central car does have to have Uber, and Uber transactions will happen through the Uber app as usual. I’m guessing that Uber will set up package pricing for various clients, but that remains to be seen.
Uber Central will be available in the U.S. and Canada this month. It is expected that the service will branch out into other parts of the world shortly after this beta test. Uber Central is another offshoot of Uber kind of like Uber Food and other Uber services.
This time around, though, it seems like Uber has it all kind of just right. Targeting the business community is a good idea - and it puts some high profile clients into the Uber corner.