There’s UberX, UberXL, UberBlack, UberSUV, UberLUX, and now, UberPool.
In what Uber is calling a “bold social experiment,” the company is testing a new way for people to carpool with others who are riding on similar routes.
UberPool will find another user heading in the same direction, text you the first name of that person, and tell you who is being picked up first. Then, you’ll both ride together while splitting the cost of a ride. If you aren’t matched with anyone, Uber will still offer you a discount.
Uber claims that by sharing a ride with others, the lower individual price points will be a “game-changer for consumers.” Whether or not people like the idea of riding with strangers remains to be seen. Perhaps users will enjoy meeting new people and saving money, but others who like their privacy may certainly think otherwise.
Uber is testing the new feature now in private beta mode with “our friends at Google,” and will roll out UberPool more broadly in San Francisco starting Aug. 15.
“They share our vision of a more energy-efficient world with less traffic congestion and pollution in our cities and are excited to be early adopters of UberPool,” Uber wrote today about Google, which has partnered with the transportation company in the past.
As GigaOM recalled, it’s worth noting that before Lyft reached startup stardom, the company’s co-founders previously ran a company called Zimride. The premise? Connecting people in cars heading in the same direction.