Yes you can! It may have taken them a long time but finally we have a way to book Uber in advance. Using an iPhone app called TaxiLater, Uber riders can now schedule rides a few days, weeks or months later and even get to specify the pickup location and time.
The advancement, which comes just months after the launching of the Family Profiles module, is not exactly an Uber idea but nevertheless makes for quite a desired feature in the global rideshare app.
And sure enough, even the creator of the app himself, Joshua Meier, a Harvard University student, was thinking about the people when he developed the app.
“I’m not trying to build a company or monetize here. I’m just a student who loves coding, saw a problem, and thought I could come up with something that could help the people.” He told the Business Insider.
That having been said, a possible misgiving running through minds right now is the reliability of this app and whether it’s going to be included in Uber’s main app.
Well, if you can remember back in December 2015, Uber introduced the “Ride Request” button for third party developers who wish to integrate their apps with Uber. Meier used this route into the Uber picture.
This means that Uber may decide to build their own app some day and officially render TaxiLater surplus to requirements.
How does TaxiLater work?
Joshua Meier may have wished there was a predecessor to pattern his app after but that didn’t stop him from designing a modest piece. The app is quite easy to use:
you simply sign in into your Uber account, request for a ride the conventional way and click on “time and date” to specify the exact date, time and location you would like to be picked as well as your destination.
TaxiLater will then let you confirm the details before submitting. First of all, though, you need to download the app from App Store.
The app does not have a maximum number of rides that can be pre-booked. You can basically pre-schedule as many trips as you wish. You’re also allowed to cancel a trip at any time in case plans change, but don’t you worried, it doesn’t come with a fine!
The prescheduled ride(s) will appear on the app’s menu and cancelling one will only require you to simply swipe on it to the left.
Does TaxiLater have any catches?
Being an entry level technology, TaxiLater is not short of problems. The interface may not be necessarily complex but still there is virtually nothing attractive about it.
The whole experience feels more like an average Uber tract prototype awaiting final touches than a cool independent app that is supposed to work on top of Uber.
We however need to differentiate conceptual art from fine art and admit that this is a downright awesome invention for both Uber and its loyal riders. The idea is to book a trip in advance, and the app doesn’t deliver anything less than that.
What’s more, this could just be the beginning of a new wave in the booming rideshare market that could stage a global change and completely improve our experience with cabs.
More developers will most likely try to come up with better and more advanced versions of the app in a bid to try and oust Meier’s ingenuity and maybe strike better deals with the rideshare firms while the technology is still unexploited and definitely sought after.
What to expect
As a pointer that something grand could be on the way, Joshua Meier has taken to Producthunt.com to point out a few other developments that we should expect.
One of his plans is to expand his app to accommodate Uber’s newly launched functionality, Family Profiles. This will allow account owners to preschedule and pay for rides for their family, friends and employees straight from their apps.
For Lyft devotees, don’t switch allegiance just yet. Meier has a plan for you. He is thinking of a partnership with Uber’s rivals including Lyft and Fasten but a deal may only come to fruition if the rideshare firms “open their APIs too”.
In the meantime, let’s book our trips while we still remember them, sync our alarm clocks with the schedule and concentrate on matters in hand.
Check out our Uber Driver Store for some items we recommend for drivers
Sign up now as an Uber passenger using this link and get $15 free to try the service