To be fair, SideCar launched this feature a good deal before either of them.
I'm sure both Uber and Lyft were aware of this feature being designed by their each and are trying to get their respective features out the door.
Ever notice how AWS and Google release price decreases within the same days? Same thing. They have been told it is upcoming and are doing the same thing. I've seen it personally.
There are also many ways to grow the product: for example, I know that Uber will be getting into local package delivery before too long. It looks like Lyft/Sidecar/Hitch/Flywheel are keeping them on their toes in the meantime.
One thing is certain: there is cutthroat competition in this industry that will only benefit the consumers.
I wonder how much we're going to see things go full circle, and have a more employee-like relationship between drivers and these services (see also the "guaranteed wage" that these services have been offering to some drivers at peak hours).
Shorter distance rides aren't worth the hassle, and airport rides are a constant pain in the ass and a nearly 24/7 market.
I have to believe the airport shuttle business which is huge, is going to go away at some point. Last time I took one I chose to pay with a credit card at the time of departure and the driver took my credit card and read it over a phone to a dispatch agent in front of an entire group of people who were forced to wait while it was authorized (this process was repeated for about two or three other people). I'm not even sure this is legal, but it certainly isn't optimal.
Airports make a lot of money off of use-fees like this. This is why, for example, rental cars are often much more expensive if picked up at the airport (SeaTac is a particularly painful example), as the rental car companies pay a hefty premium to be on site. At some airports, like JFK, there are some rental car companies that pick you up by shuttle and take you off-site (but it's a total pain and I recommend you do not do this due to the sheer hassle).
In my mind, this sort of product is a great stepping stone towards the reduction in personal cars - it's starting to bring the cost of travelling down by sharing, hopefully by enough to make it accessible to less well-off people. I certainly couldn't afford a taxi to work every day.
If this sort of service really takes off, it will hopefully also reduce the number of cars on the road, reducing congestion.
The obvious next step for this sort of service is to use self-driving cars, reducing the cost even further as there are no drivers to pay.
It is obviously an idea whose time has come, and I'm glad!
(In essence, that's like a municipal bus service, just with a much more flexible schedule.)
We'll build the brave new tech world equivalent of a decent transportation system.
Maybe eventually you can put some sort of a fixed guideway along most common travel start/end points, use larger vehicles, then perhaps try to find a way to reduce rolling resistance?
Or did they hear the other was working on it and rushed it out the door?
Uber and Lyft most likely saw the exact same market opportunity at similar times.
I'm not suggesting malice, of course, but perhaps Uber heard that Lyft was planning to announce this, and rushed their own announcement ahead of time, then delay the actual implementation until they're ready.
The worst example was when OS/2 looked likely to gain a foothold in the PC market and Microsoft claimed that the next windows would have essentially all the OS/2 features (then delayed the next release for an eternity and shipped without many of the core features). The goal was just to shut down a competitor, not to actually announce a new feature.
So you announce, say it's in early beta, or early access, or in "sneak preview" mode and go from there.
> Cheaper than a breakfast burrito.
What kind of burritos are they eating!?
I've been backpacking around SE Asia for a few months now, and this sort of system has been active on an ad hoc basis for years in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There, it's expected that "red cars" (seemingly the only active taxis), will pick up other passengers.
They'll stop for passengers flagging them down, and check location before issuing a quote, if in fact they're on the way. While this made traveling really cheap, there were times where a 10-minute trip stretched into over half an hour. I'm interested to see whether these services will customize allowable wait times to the individual, or whether all ride-sharers have roughly the same tolerance for delays.
But, to say that any one company copied another in this case is a pretty stupid argument to make. I asked myself this question the first time I rode with Uber, and I'm sure many of you have as well. I would imagine that any good PM would've thoroughly investigated it; it's pretty obvious.
I've had someone attend an investment pitch who I'm pretty sure then told a potential competitor exactly what I planned on doing. If this happens to my company, which is pretty insignificant compared to Lyft and Uber, I bet it is even worse for them.
I don't work for either and this is one of several ideas I considered while thinking about that space, and everybody here has probably had the experience of watching a startup build something around an idea they had but never really shared.
Which, if so, is a great testament to their ability to respond quickly. And also, as a user of these services, I love the competitive pressure they're putting on each other.
IMO, a big win for consumers, because offering more service-level options, and driving down pricing. With Hitch, it usually costs me $9 for what costs $16-22 on UberX, Lyft or Sidecar. Thats a nice savings, even if it takes me 10min more to get home. I could really see mass adoption coming from the service who nails this and provides the option that is better than Muni, but cheaper than individual car service.
Another aspect of this service I wasn't ready for was that the social dynamic can completely change the ride-sharing experience. Its different when you are just chatting with a driver, vs a 3rd or 4th stranger jumping in the car. It will be interesting to see how others react and expectations evolve as it becomes mainstream.
Assuming people accept this, van availability would be a critical component of the competition in this field.
and they work on taxi lines at airports, events: http://blog.bandwagon.io/post/92569728340/meet-the-hop-lane-...
These new announcements are about splitting with strangers, matched on their end. It's much more interesting than fare split with friends.
Does "guys" imply the teams are all male? Is that relevant, or just reflect the casual sexism of the Valley? Or is "guys" a truly universal term and this just reflects an excessively lazy/casual writing style for a supposed news outlet?
"the guys at Lyft got to talking with the guys at Rover and they decided to work together instead." (I read this like poorly-worded slang)
"the team at Lyft talked with the team at Rover and they decided to work together instead." (I think this is much better worded)
I think by now it's a universal term.
Driver brought up a great point though -- there doesn't seem to be support for specifying how many people you've got to travel (or is it designed just for a single person?). He said he could foresee stopping to pickup a second passenger only to find out there were 4 people in the group (and not enough space.)
For instance, yesterday's news of Apple's Sep 9 launch date was shown on TechMeme as one item, with about 100 sub-links from every possible publication. They even get the primary source right most of the time, which is great.
I wonder what the impact will be on prices for non-shared rides. (This feature will make taxis more `productive' in the economic sense. Productivity improvements can have all kinds of impact. Especially since supply and demand are elastic.)
I'm really curious if this was rushed out as a response to Uber or if this specific date/time range was always perceived as the launch time.
I tried to download Lyft on my iPhone 3GS but I can only use the old version because Lyft is using iOS 7 for their latest app.
Little stuff like this matters.