Cutting your share in the sharing economy might be harder then you think when you’re up against global dominators such as airbnb and UBER, but one popular new app is shaking the industry up and is now so popular in the US that it has just reported over 10 million downloads and a quarterly profit of $6 million USD (United States Dollars). Now regulators and lawmakers are trying to catch up amidst a growing concern that the new app is a sham that simply tricks people into driving themselves around.
With it’s impending release here in Australia we took it for a test drive to see what all the fuss is about…
The app itself isn’t cheap, you can download it for $49.95 and then you still have to register your vehicle and pass several online tests. Once approved, you place the app in your car and connect it to the starter wires underneath your steering column. UPSIDE: It’s quite easy to do with some simple tools and there’s several YouTube instructional videos. DOWNSIDE: the car will now not start until the meter is running on the app.
All you need to do is plug in the destination, much like a SatNav or the current UBER app. The app, using existing Google Maps software, shows you the route and a notification appears on your phone to start the meter running… now it’s time to start the engine and you’re off. TOTAL PREP TIME TO DATE: 2.5 hours.
We drove around a few blocks and watched the dollars tick up. The smart app technology detects if music is playing or if the aircon is on and adds a surcharge to your trip. The app itself has a really smooth interface and its easy menus make it a breeze to operate.
Once the journey is over, you can hit the red button at the bottom of the screen and the app displays the total amount owing. The best thing is, if you decide to take passengers, they’ll never be charged because your credit card is automatically debited; you don’t have to worry about a thing!
Although the journey was expensive for only a few blocks (approximately around $50), the app runs smoothly and the charges appear instantly on your bank statement.
It takes a few hours to set up and get approved, and it’s quite expensive to purchase and operate, but overall the app is really impressive. It’s silky smooth to use and integrates into your car perfectly. It’s pretty easy to see why it’s shaken up the industry so much in UBER hotspots like New York.
The app is set for release next month and is available on both Android and Apple IOS.