Comments on: Uber and the cognitive zone of discomfort A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: sisyphos Mon, 10 Dec 2012 22:45:16 +0000 I think Uber should show the current Minimum Fare BEFORE the user confirms his/her pickup request… Then when the ride starts the user should see a running meter on his/her phone app to make the transaction fully transparent.

By: matthewslyman Thu, 05 Apr 2012 10:50:11 +0000 Further to my previous comments, take a look at the section in this article headed “Nokia-created apps”: 012/04/the-nokia-lumia-900-review.ars/3

This is going to be a game-changer for flexible pricing. All we need now is a semantic web – with an agreed XML format – for the advertising of transportation services…

By: cMcGillivary Sun, 08 Jan 2012 15:11:38 +0000 Why don’t they just give you the price of the trip before you agree to it. You just indicate on your smart phone where you want to go and they give you a quote. You can take it or get home some other way. If that’s what customers wanted a free market cab system ought to be able to give it to them.

By: dieswaytoofast Sun, 08 Jan 2012 03:06:29 +0000 This was actually a customer support FIAL.
In an evil way.
The way I see it, the impenetrability of surge pricing is a feature, not a bug.

Drunk people who can’t figure out what the correct price is?

Perfect! Soak them!

But, (!), be sure to promptly and immediately refund / credit / whatever
people who complain. Done properly, you’ll make plenty of money from
people who don’t complain, to more than make up for the rest.

There are plenty of examples of where people do this – Mail-in rebates, mis-labeled prices in groceries, etc.
Ergo, customer support (and/or communication) FIAL.

By: Robes40x Sat, 07 Jan 2012 20:05:30 +0000 Uber started in San Francisco and was successful because it fills a need. The taxi situation in this city is a mess. The drivers are rude, usually on the phone, refuse (illegally) credit cards, rarely display their taxi license, and drive like maniacs. It appears that the city has no inspectors monitoring such activity.

It is always a crap shoot if a taxi shows up when you call for one. Yellow Cab has a computerized service that assures you a taxi is one the way but no-shows are common. On big convention weeks there it’s impossible to get a cab. Long lines are noted outside the big hotels with hapless guests trying to get to the airport.

I’m hardly wealthy but Uber fills a void. I was warned on the mobile screen on New Years Eve that surge pricing was in effect (3X normal price). After searching for a cab for about thirty minutes in South of Market, I gave up and called Uber. The car was there in one minute and got me home(for a whopping $70 compared to a cab which would have been around $18). Was it worth it? Yes. Will I avoid putting myself in that position again? I’ll certainly try.

By: matthewslyman Thu, 05 Jan 2012 09:19:20 +0000 @DanLondon: I know about that. We have it in Leeds too. There’s a text message service that I’ve used: you ping the server with an SMS containing a code for the bus stop, and it sends you a live list of ETAs for the next 5 or 6 buses expected to pass that stop. It’s been going now for about 5-15 years, hasn’t it?

What I’m talking about here is something different: the next level up from that. Effectively a mathematical search engine that acts as a personal assistant, using a wide array of live data to select the best modes of transport for you (or best combination of modes of transport), taking into account walking, buses, trains, underground, taxis, flights etc. That’s something we haven’t seen yet. You can guarantee that the first-to-market with this will try to apply for patents to cover “their ideas”, even though it’s the obvious evolution of what we already have.

By: DanLondon Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:39:47 +0000 @matthewslyman: this is already being done. London Transports mobile website now can detect where you are and gives live bus times for nearby bus stops. I often check before leaving home and if it’s a ten minute wait for the bus i need, chill out for another 5 minutes.

By: matthewslyman Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:18:59 +0000 p.p.s. One other software-patent-spoiler… We already have head-counters in supermarkets working from CCTV. Location-based transport search/optimization services could also factor in how crowded particular buses/trains are, and how crowded the bus stops/ train platforms/ tram stops are (and so, how likely we are to get a seat on the bus/train/tram we would need for a particular transport route)…

As a side note, I’m sick of software patents. Big corporations are patenting mere ideas that were obvious to me as a 10 or 11 year old boy, to ring-fence and corner entire industries from the outset without too much trouble on their part… They’re wrong. How can we combat this menace?

By: Proxyariesman Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:15:29 +0000 Sorry for the double post, double clicked by accident.

By: Proxyariesman Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:14:06 +0000 It’s a neat idea, but Uber is certainly too expensive at the moment for myself. I would love to see Google autonomous driving technology meet with the Uber idea. Knock the driver out and also make the car electric. Now you limit yourself to how far you can go, but if you add Wiitricity charging technology the car itself may be able to charge while it drives, say in a special charging lane. Problem would be, such lanes would have to be set up for this to be possible, meaning possible public works projects. I suppose there are ways around it to make it low cost for the tax payer, to even free (Wiitricity pays for installation, installation costs just get added onto electricity – to the mileage of the car fair.) I’m just rambling however and these thoughts will go unrealized for some time. Either or, perhaps Uber itself will grow in demand and by that would become cheaper and more widespread. It still would be nice to knock out the driver (this also includes knocking out the taxicab drivers, or at least making it so they have to compete with autonomous cars thus finding a way to be even cheaper.)