Uber Launches In Australia To Carry You Through Sydney In Style

There are a swathe of apps you can use around the country to order a cab to wherever you want to go. The problem with those is that once you get in, it's still the same, old taxi experience. Transport start-up, Uber, launched the US last year, and the concept is perfect: order a private, luxury car to where you are via an app, relax on your journey, and get out knowing that the journey has already been charged to your credit card. Sounds awesome, right? Well the good news here is that Uber has just opened for business in Australia.

Uber launched in the US in January of last year as a classy private car company that aspired to bring cashless transport to the masses. Cars used in the US range from BMW 7 Series sedans through to Cadillacs and Lincolns.

The Uber crew have just launched Down Under with the help of sleek, black Holden Caprice luxury sedans to take you to and from your location.

So who was their first customer? The indie band Art Vs Science, of course! The guys from Art Vs Science took an Uber car to their latest recording session.

Uber is trying to test on the down-low right now, so it's more like a real-world beta rather than a general release right now. Says Uber of its Sydney pilot:

Our First Fleet (see what they did there?) is being tested in Australia and we’re bound to hit some snags. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be tinkering with our pricing, placement, and positioning.
While we’re in “test mode,” you can request an Uber, but be aware that availability will be limited until our official launch. If you’re one of the lucky few that’s able to grab an Uber, make sure you shoot us heaps of feedback on your experience so that we can make our Sydney launch hotter than this summer’s going to be. You can chat with us at [email protected] or chuck us a tweet @Uber_Sydney.

Don't go railing against Uber for its limited beta, though. It's probably a good thing. The Sydney Taxi industry is a cutthroat environment, and the last thing Uber wants to do is fall foul of the industry or the regulators.

Welcome to Australia, Uber!

Originally published on Gizmodo Australia

Image: Uber/Art Vs. Science


Comments

    Haha. Watch this space. Taxi mob will pressure the govt to block these type of businesses to protect their old school revenue streams.

      Why would they ban them just because of Uber? Luxury car services have existed in Australia for many years. Only difference is Uber charge far more than the vast majority of luxury car services. Uber change their prices depending on demand (which Taxi's aren't allowed to do) - in the US on New Years Eve they charged $135 per mile (yes ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE). Uber also don't tell you how much the trip will cost before or during the ride - only at the end of the ride, when the fare is automatically charged to your credit card (which you need to give them to sign up to their service) - so you can't dispute the charge.

      Last edited 20/10/12 1:52 am

        Ive used Über a lot when I travel to San Francisco. Every driver has quoted me the fare upfront so I've never had an issue with getting gouged. Every fare has been quite reasonable, only marginally more than a cab. I think it's great they're coming to Australia.

      Dah. We don't need to pressure the govt. This is a pointless exercise. It is just a boutique service for rich wankers. It will not put a dent in the taxi industry. I wonder if the Uber driver will dare to brave Bayswater Rd at 2am on a Sunday morning? I think his BMW will end up being jumped on by a bunch of drunken ferals and he will head for the hills. I am a very unworried taxi driver.

    Uber is widely criticised in the US for being super expensive, and that it's much cheaper to call a luxury car service company yourself to organise your ride.h

    I just hope these guys have the right insurances and licenses...a risky venture otherwise. But good to see a grassroots solution as always.

    Isn't this the exact same thing as DELUX? Except DELUX gives you the price before booking

      Yes. Uber is nothing new. Only difference is Uber allows you to rate your driver out of 5, and shows you on the phone where you car is. Uber claim "Surge pricing" (where they put the price up when there are a lot of requests) is "to provide a reliable ride to anybody who needs one, no matter how crazy demand is or what is going on in the city."

      Although after the New Years Eve fiasco of $135 per mile trips they have fixed it somewhat by giving some kind of estimate of what the cost of the fare will be at the time - but you still won't know the actual cost until the driver closes the trip (which in the $135 per mile period most drivers didn't close it until you left the car and they drove off.)

    Lady Daphne, Glennis & Roz wish to sincerly thank Chris Burrell, our driver today. He provided prompt, friendly & professional service with great driving skills & knowledge of the inner city. We thoughly recommend this service & Chris . He made a good day into a great one to remember!

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