Uber has today given its users something they’ve been wanting since the service first launched, but it’s not letting regular ol’ Joes and Janes use it just yet.
Starting today in Seattle, rides can be pre-booked. Yes, you read that right; Uber’s letting you pre-book a cab just like any other company – though not quite just like any other company, as it’s strictly a business-customer only affair.
That means that if you’re needing to book a 3am cab to the train station for work, it’s probably better to get your employer to go ahead and do it for you, rather than run the risk of none being available at that time. Uber says that bookings can be made between 30 minutes and 30 days in advance.
Keeping the on-demand side of its business to consumers and offering business account holders more flexibility makes some sense – they make more trips, they more frequently need those late night or early morning airport rides – and it also helps Uber keep its major differentiator from other services.
If it expands beyond business to consumers, Uber stands to potentially tap into another additional customer pool, but it’ll come at the cost of its USP.