Get Home safely with ubiCabs
ubiCabs, a minicab booking app, is launching today. It takes a user’s location, then finds local minicab firms who have cabs available for your journey and then provides you with the best price after automatically analysing the prices. With the tracking technology that is currently enabled, drivers can never lie to you again – you can see the minicab’s location so the “five minutes away” response can’t be used again. It will soon add Facebook features so people can share their journey details with friends and family – for safety’s sake, rather than over-sharing.
- Full Press Release -
London, 10 May 2012: ubiCabs has officially launched today to make it easy for Londoners to order a minicab with an instant, secure, and cost-effective service they can count on – available as a mobile iPhone or Android app and online.
Tired of constantly being told their minicab was just ‘five minutes away’, founders Jay Patel, Lorenzo Caffarri and Prem Sharma combined their IT and logistics experience to create the innovative technology behind ubiCabs. It now means Londoners will always get the best option for their journey based on price, availability, quality and shortly, user feedback rating without having to do any of the legwork. ubiCabs is backed by Multimap entrepreneur Sean Phelan and Joe Bitran, founder and chief executive of one of the largest corporate chauffeur businesses in the UK, Travelhire.
“The private hire industry is worth £2.6 billion annually and every day 150,000 minicab journeys are made in London alone”, says Lorenzo Caffarri, co-founder of ubiCabs and former Head of IT at the French logistics division of retail giant, Carrefour. “It’s big business but we know from talking with minicab firms, that up to 45% of their cars are empty at any one time. This is incredibly inefficient: it’s lost business for the drivers and their firms whilst adding to congestion. By using our expertise in logistics ubiCabs aims to deliver a marked improvement for both minicab firm and passenger.”
Caffarri continues: “Our consumer research uncovered four key issues for minicab users. Firstly, there is no consistent level of service. We are constantly told by controllers that our minicab is ‘five minutes away’ which can mean anything from five minutes to an hour’s waiting time. The booking experience is inconsistent and the ‘unscientific’ meter, as we call it, means journey costs are also inconsistent and can vary each time you book. Finally, availability is a real issue. You might have to call several companies to find a minicab that is available when you want it.”
The free-to-download ubiCabs app will find a user based on their mobile’s location then find local minicab companies with availability. It will then locate the nearest cab, get the best price for the journey and then tell the user how long it will take to arrive. A further feature soon to be unveiled, will see ubiCabs integrating its technology with Facebook, so passengers can allow their chosen friends to track their journey. That could be a parent or partner expecting their loved one home for dinner or a friend waiting in a bar. Users can also securely register credit card details, so avoiding the need to do a cash point drop off.
“A minicab’s job is to get passenger from one location to another safely using the most direct route,” says co-founder and former Google process specialist Jay Patel. “It goes without saying that all the cabs on our platform are security-checked, but we are adding additional peace of mind and user-based scores for reliability. In the same way that sellers on eBay thrive based on their reputation and levels of customer service, ubiCabs is aiming to create a community where the best and most reliable minicab firms prosper.”
ubiCabs’ service is initially available across Greater London for journeys in and around the capital (including airport runs). Plans to extend ubiCabs to other areas in the UK and further afield are in development. The ubiCabs app is available on Android and iPhone with Blackberry and Windows Mobile apps currently in development. The service can also be used via www.ubicabs.com.
 Source: London Chamber of Commerce (http://www.londonchamber.co.uk/docimages/2519.pdf)
 Source: Transport for London (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/modesoftransport/7311.aspx)