But today the app is gaining ground on the traditional taxi service at a phenomenal rate, as David Rohrsheim, Uber’s GM in Australia and New Zealand, just revealed at the Telstra 2015 Australian Digital Summit in Sydney.
Here are 11 fun UberX facts you can dazzle your friends with…
1. Uber is already investing in driverless car technology. David says this is the way of the future and Uber aims to be at the coal-face.
2. Earlier in October, UberX celebrated its ten millionth ride in Australia after just 18 months of operation.
3.Telstra’s robust broadband network has enabled UberX to expand here faster than almost any other new market.
4. UberX is set to get even cheaper with the imminent introduction of UberPool which enables users to share rides with other passengers. “We’re in pursuit of a perpetual trip,” says David.”You’ll soon be able to have public transport prices at touch of a button.”
5. Drivers earn on average around $30 a hour, and can clock and off whenever they please.
6. UberX is good for the environment by taping into cars that are already there. “We just provide the software for the city’s hardware.”
7. Your behaviour when riding in an UberX car is also being monitored and rated, as well as the driver’s. David says UberX users are at their worst when using the service on Australia Day.
8. No money changes hands when using UberX. You simply register your credit card details online and when the trip is over you receive a receipt of the cost and details direct to your email inbox.
9. The same UberX business model is now being used in Australia to ride boats on Sydney Harbour and in other areas have ice cold Gelato delivered to your door. Expect even more products and services to follow.
10. ACT will be the first Australian government to legalise and regulate UberX. A ride share driver will have to pay $50 application fee, $65 for a vehicle inspection, and $45 for a police check.
11. Uber had its humble beginnings in San Francisco in 2009 after founder Garret Camp boasted to friends of an underground club that could summon a ride with the press of a smartphone button. Two years after realising the business applications, the company had US$44.5 million in funding.