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« The Future of Car Technology: 2014 Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedan | Main | Cadillac’s Awesome Safety Secret: Rear-Seat Passenger Sensing System »

January 10, 2014

Two Great Reasons To Try An Uber Private Driver

Uber-taxi-taxi-without-the-hassleNeed to get somewhere but don’t have a car? If you’ve got a smart phone, consider the ride sharing service from Uber as an alternative to a taxi or other forms of public transportation. The company, which has has labeled itself as “the most reliable ride in cities around the world,” brags about its inexpensive pricing and simple operation. Just “Push a button, and you know you're getting a ride.” And, here are two great reasons to give it a try. 

First: If you’re going to be in Detroit during the preview days of the North American International Auto Show, Cadillac and Uber are teaming up to provide on-demand private driver services in and around Detroit during the media, industry, and charity preview days. Uber and Cadillac are making sure NAIAS attendees arrive in style by allowing users of the Uber smartphone app to call for a private driver in either a 2014 Cadillac SRX or Escalade luxury utility vehicle.

“Cadillac's partnership with Uber gives auto show attendees the opportunity to experience a new Cadillac vehicle," said Melody Lee, director, brand and reputation strategy for Global Cadillac. "Both Cadillac and Uber are known for remaking the rules when it comes to technology and service."

Uber Cadillac rides are limited to 15 minutes and will cover all destinations within Downtown, Corktown and Midtown, free of charge. Show-goers will be able to request an Uber Cadillac vehicle between Sunday, January 12 until Friday, January 17 during the following times:

Sunday, January 12 from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Monday, January 13 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 14 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 16 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday, January 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

To request a ride in a 2014 Cadillac, users should open the Uber smartphone app, toggle to the right and select the “Cadillac” option; select the pickup location; tap “Request;” and the 2014 SRX or Escalade will be on its way. Riders are encouraged to post to Twitter and Instagram about their experiences using the #UberCadillac hashtag to @Cadillac and @Uber_Det.

“We are very excited to partner with Cadillac during the 2014 North American International Auto Show,” said Michael White, general manager, Uber Detroit. “To be able to offer riders exclusive Cadillac vehicles to arrive in style during the show heightens the great Uber experience.”

Uber Detroit will also offer new users $20 off their first Uber Detroit ride if they enter the promo code “Cadillac.” (This promotion is available when first-time riders use the app in the Detroit area, and is seperate from the Facebook promotion mentioned below.)

Uberx-the-low-cost-uberSecond: If you won’t be at the Detroit Auto show, first-time Uber users anywhere else may also be able to benefit from a $20 first-ride discount by using this free Facebook Uber promo code, shared with us by Scott Monty, Global Digital & Multimedia Communications at Ford Motor Company. (Because this is a promotional code published on Facebook, it is unclear how long it will be valid after this article is published, but feel free to give it a try.)

The Pros and Cons of Uber

The pros and cons of such private driver services are still being weighed. In some marketplaces, riders are transported in livery-style vehicles by professional drivers. In other marketplaces, your uber driver could be an average person sharing a ride in in their personal car.

Uber was recently featured on Anderson Cooper 360˚! Robert, an Uber partner in Washington D.C., told CNN’s Tom Foreman that Uber “saved the day”.

According to Paleofuture, “This so-called ride-sharing service from San Francisco-based Uber Technologies is supposedly the future of cabs,” though additional review shows their opinion on the private car service is not necessarily positive. Others have weighed in negatively on the service’s supply-and-demand style pricing model, which can fluctuate depending on the marketplace and availability of drivers.

 

Uber-watch-as-your-driver-arrivesHow Uber Works:

Uber software allows anyone to request a ride via mobile app (download at the Google Play store or at the Apple Store), text message, or the web. Out and about? Simply use your smart phone’s map and GPS to tell Uber your current location to pick you up. The app will show you a photo of your driver and identify his or her vehicle, and will allow you to use your phones’ GPS to track each other. If you’re using Uber’s mobile website, you can type in the address or you can text the address to UBR-CAB (827-222) if you’re using Uber in Canada or the U.S. Uber will send you a text notifying you of how long you’ll need to wait before you can expect to be picked up. When your Uber ride arrives, you’ll receive another text to let you know. To pay, the credit card on file is charged after riding, and passengers receive an email receipt detailing their trip.

Standard message and data rates may apply. For additional assistance visit support.uber.com or call (866) 576-1039. At the time of publication, supported carriers are AT&T Sprint Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.

 

More on Uber:

The private driver service has been promoting its service heavily in the recent months, with many charitable services, including:

  • Sean "Diddy" Combs and CIROC Ultra Premium Vodka recently teamed up With Uber to provide $1 million-worth of safe rides home during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
  • For Christmas 2013, Uber also had a Christmas tree delivery service in Dallas Texas in cooperation with The Home Depot.
  • According to Wikipedia, on November 1, 2013, when cars were restricted from accessing the airport the day of the LAX Airport Shooting, Uber offered free rides to stranded travelers who had to flee the airport on foot. The Twitter account of Uber Los Angeles sent out tweets to make travelers aware of this service, and Uber then drove passengers anywhere within the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area free of charge.

 

Have you used the Uber private driver service? Weigh in and let us know what you thought!

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