Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Uber kicks off in Auckland and you can try it free

, posted: 23-Mar-2014 10:24

San Francisco's cool next-generation taxi service Uber has started trialling its service in Auckland in the last few days (they call this stage of their activities 'Uber Secret').
Uber was introduced to me in San Francisco by Steve Simms last year. At that stage I signed up but didn't get time to try the service. However now Uber is in Auckland I'm already enjoying having a new way of getting about that's smarter and more cost effective than traditional taxis.
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Based around a an app, Uber ensures a more refined experience than that of a typical taxi thanks to good use of technology:
  • Customers book a ride from an app that shows you where nearby vehicles are, how long it will take to pick you up, and an estimate of what the fare will be
  • When you've placed a booking you can see a photo of the driver who will collect you, the type of car that is coming (and it's license plate number), a rating of the driver and a live map showing where the car is currently
  • The driver will pick you up from the GPS location of your phone - though you can adjust this if you want picking up at a slightly different location
  • You can have direct contact with the driver as the app provides an option to call or SMS the driver direct to their mobile. Handy for instance if you're at a hard to find location, or if you need to check when they'll arrive.
  • Upon reaching your destination, you don't have to spend your time arranging payment - this happens automatically via the app
  • After completion of the journey you can rate driver (and they can rate you)
Already launched in 33 countries globally, Uber has been growing quickly in the Asia-Pacific region with services in Australia, China, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan.
Initially there aren't a large number of Uber vehicles on the road, but if you'd like to try the service now or once they're in full service click through and get $25 Uber credit code (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) to try it out  - I also get a credit if you sign up and take a ride. You can also enter this Uber Promo Code inside the app or on the Uber website: ubernz

Update July 2015: Uber is now in Auckland, Wellington and very soon in Christchurch. Globally Uber now offer service in well over 200 cities.

Other related posts:
Microsoft Build – Bots, Inking, Cortana, Windows 10 now installed on 270+ million PCs
NZ Tech Podcast 267: Air and underwater drone, Police 3D mugshots, Samsung vs Huawei, Plan B grabs ICONZ
NZ Tech Podcast 263: Laura Butler – Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft

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