Uber opens an API for third-party developers to integrate its on-demand transportation services

Uber opens an API for third-party developers to integrate its on-demand transportation services

As rumored, Uber is launching an API that will allow developers to integrate its on-demand transport services into their own applications.

A developer site is now live and lists 11 high-profile partners that Uber is already working with: Starbucks, United, OpenTable, TimeOut, Tempo, Hinge, Tripadvisor, Tripcase, Hyatt, Mememo and Expensify.

The API will allow developers to tap into numerous parts of the Uber experience. These include listing private car hire and ride-sharing services that are currently available, as well as price estimates based on their specific route. It could also be used to provide time estimates and even dig into the user’s trip history. Uber says other features will be added in the future.

The jump to third-party apps is hardly surprising. The company recently integrated with Google Maps, allowing smartphone users to review its travel times against walking and various modes of public transport. Tapping into other apps, however, will no doubt help Uber to increase its brand awareness and the volume of rides booked by users on a daily basis.

Uber is releasing the API in two distinct ways. The first, which is open to all developers, will allow apps to send a destination address across to the Uber app – similar to the existing integration with Google Maps – as well as access Uber pick up times, fare estimates and the user’s trip history.

The second also includes the ability to actually request rides from inside pther apps. To control demand and, presumably, the overall quality of the user experience in other apps, Uber says it’s releasing this “in a more controlled fashion,” beginning with a select set of partners.

To incentivize developers, Uber is also launching an Uber API Affiliate Program, which offers Uber credit and other rewards in exchange for integrating its services. Perhaps of greater interest, however, is the company’s promise of cash rewards in the future. We suspect that’ll grab people’s attention.

➤ developer.uber.com

Top image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

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