Uber, the company that lets users summon a cab through a mobile app, has launched a new service in London. The app determines the associated fare using a mobile phone and GPS. Cab drivers in London are protesting Uber’s launch in London though. Cab drivers are comparing this technology to taximeters, which legally only black cabs are allowed to use in London. Uber launched UberTaxi in London to appease to cab drivers.
“Today, on top of our existing three options of uberX, EXEC and LUX cars in London, we?re opening up the Uber platform to London?s Black Taxis, bringing one more safe, reliable and seamless option to London riders,” said Uber in a blog post. “UberTAXI ? like all services on the Uber platform ? is completely cashless, enabling users to book and pay directly through the Uber app. Customers simply select the TAXI option in-app, take a ride, and their card will be charged automatically. UberTAXI can seat up to five passengers, is wheelchair accessible and can more easily take oversized luggage.”
The fares will cost the same as set by Transport for London (TfL). Uber will take a 5% cut. The TfL previously backed Uber, but now it is asking the High Court to rule on whether smartphones that use GPS to measure the time and distance of a journey to help establish a fare complies with current law on taximeters.
Uber recently raised $1.2 billion with a $17 billion valuation.