Uber Explained in Full

Description: Uber and black cars and taxis, oh my! The latest video in our Mashable Explains series takes a look at how Uber works for both employer and consumer.

Source: Mashable.com

Date: Oct 9, 2014

Questions for discussion:

1.  Describe Uber?
2.  Would you use Uber? Why?
3.  Is Uber an example of dis-intermediation? explain


26 thoughts on “Uber Explained in Full

  1. Lucille Black Rabbit

    Uber is a car service where you can get a ride at short notice. It is like a cab service but apparently cheaper in rates. It has different sizes in vehicles to accommodate the size of your party. To get a ride at short notice is a great idea since most cab/taxis have a waiting period of at least half an hour and upward. It would seem to be a safer way to get from point A to point B since it can be tracked via gps right from your phone. With the added assurance that the drivers and the vehicles are legal and safe because of the stipulations that they must have drivers license and the vehicle must be insured. The idea that everyday people can earn extra cash on the side is ingenious especially in todays economy, if you can supplement your own income to better your lifestyle than I say go for it. Yes I would use this service because of the assurances and also for the fast service that it provides. As for the dis-intermediation part the app is the median and it gets 20% of the fare so no it is not an example of this.

  2. Sherry Lu

    Uber is a car service started in 2009, where people can get a ride on short term notice. By downloading the uber app, riders can use the app to request a car to their current location and once the driver sees the request, the riders get GPS update on their car for instant ride. Uber has many types of cars, including uber taxi, uber X, UberSUV, UberLUX and UberBLACK and rider can request the kind of car they wish to get a ride on. Personally, I would use Uber. As it is cost effective and very convenient, I just need to download the app and use it when I need a ride. i don’t need to make a payment when I get off the car, because it automatically charges me online. As well, Uber also gives 80% of the ride fare to the drivers and anyone can be a uber driver as long has the person gets a background check, a valid driver’s lisence, insurance and a car.

  3. Mitch

    Uber is an app that is currently threatening the taxi industry, to the extent of rallies being held by taxi drivers urging city hall’s to not allow the service in their city. The way Uber works is, after opening their app you can see the Uber drivers around you and what vehicle they are driving, as well as their rating given to them by other users. You can then pick the Uber that you want to pick you up and you can watch them as they are on their way to get you. I personally find Uber to be very handy and convenient and have actually used the app in the past, and still currently have the app on my phone. I had nothing but good experiences with Uber and don’t buy the “trust taxi’s more” argument. Each drivers rating is given to him by other users and in the world today where we are more dependant on each other and consumer to consumer services (i.e. Bay, Kiijiji, Couchsurfing, AirBNB etc) I trust these services and the savings they had for me.

  4. Michael Scott

    Uber is a company that operates based upon app usage. There is little regulatory oversight of drivers by the company as most people who work for Uber are screened upon hiring, and never checked up on after that point. Uber has shown that it does not care for municipal laws, and I doubt that I would use it myself. Uber is not an example of dis-intermediation as you still use the app to get your “taxi,” and Uber recieves 20% of the fare.

  5. Debbie Payne

    Uber is the new “taxi” service, which started in 2009 and over five years has expanded globally to include Australia, France, United Kingdom & Japan. By downloading the Uber app., riders can request a car, on short-term notice, to their current location and obtain up-to-date whereabouts on their car. Uber pricing works the same as a metered taxi service with payment being made with using the rider’s payment information tied to their Uber account. Prices will vary depending on which type of car you choose and the claim is that Uber fares are cheaper than a New York taxi. With Uber entering into the “taxi” market, it has caused rivalry between the taxi service owners and the Uber owners and there seems to be a double standard. To drive a taxi, cab drivers are required to register with the city, which can be very expensive, whereas anyone can be an Uber driver. To be a driver for Uber, all that is required is that the driver has had a background check, personal insurance, owns a car and holds a valid drivers license.

    I very rarely require a ride service, but in the event that I do, I am not sure that I would be comfortable using Uber. I would rather utilize a reputable taxi service, who I would assume, have rules and regulations that must be followed by their cab drivers.

  6. Tyson

    Uber is a service in which the consumer contacts a driver through the Uber app, rather than the traditional method of calling a cab company by telephone. The service also allow customers to pick and choose which type of vehicle they would like to be transported in. For instance, if you wanted to show up to an out of town function in a luxury car, Uber makes this possible with UberLux. Uber allows it customers to view exactly where there driver is, and the service is not limited by taxi licences which artificially reduces the supply of drivers, therefore increasing the price of cab fares. I have used Uber when I have travelled to the US and find it vastly superior to traditional cab services. Uber drivers tend to be more sociable, drive more well-kept vehicles, and overall, give better service in my person opinion. I hope that Uber takes hold in Canada as it is a superior service, and it forces cab companies to adapt to the changing market. Uber does have what feels like less complicated intermediaries when compared to traditional cab companies, as going through the app is generally much more painless than going through a taxi call centre. However, by going through the app, this means that Uber still requires intermediaries to complete service.

  7. Kirsti Osowetski

    Uber is a described as a car service that is more convenient than calling a taxi because there are more of them and they can come get you on shorter notice than taxi’s need, and they also have their own app which helps to show where they are, how long they will take to come and get you or if they are going to running late due to other traffic. Uber is not an example of disintermediation because the app acts as a middleman for the drivers and in order to be completely disintermediated there would need to be no middleman and the consumer would need to go directly to the driver.

  8. Evan

    Uber = car service that allows users to pay & tip drivers via the app account. Drivers for Uber are independent workers, which leaves a question of why do these drivers that automatically pay Uber 20% not get coverage for health insurance or any benefits. Uber has taken taxi service into the 21st century, it is a new field with problems to work on, leaving traditional taxi service starving and in the cold. // Living in Lethbridge and have taken taxi rides (few times) it makes me cheer for Uber, the rates are crazy and Uber would decimate the taxi companies that exist here.// Uber is a service I would use if I had to, taxi service has flaws and is reason for Uber & etc existing.

  9. Yifan Han

    Uber is a multinational online transportation network company. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, and it allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. I would like to try Uber when I have a travel in other city alone. I am from China, and one of the Asian culture is taxi is everywhere and easy to find one. however, when I came to Canada, calling a taxi is inconvenient and time consuming. people need to call the car service company and tell them the address, and wait for more than 15 minutes, and the price is very expensive. but Uber is cheaper, convenient, and safety. Uber is an example of dis-intermediation because consumers have to go to the app and pay on the app, drivers can take portion of sales.

  10. kaylie neisz

    Uber is a car service where you can request a ride on short term notice. Once the driver accepts the request, the rider gets GPS updates on where their requested car is. The requester can also choose what car they would like to be picked up in; prices differ depending on the car. Uber pricing is like a meter taxicab but it differentiates itself from taxis by its price per mile varying on the car you choose. On that, Uber drivers differ from regular taxi driver because they don’t need a medallion, which is what regular taxi drivers use to signify they are registered as a taxi in a particular city and must pay for this registration. The latter point is the one reason that I would refrain from using Uber, because you are unaware of the capabilities this stranger has driving you around. I would however use Uber depending on what geographic region I am in because that would determine the type of driver I would be getting (somewhat). The company does however seem to have a favourable reputation which inclines me to want to have that same experience. Uber is also cheaper so being a poor student I would economically choose Uber over a taxi.

  11. Alan Iwaasa

    Uber is an online transportation logistics service that allows users to arrange for transportation without having to use the usual channels (Taxi Services, buses, trains). Uber is able to offer this services at lower prices than it’s competition because it doesn’t need to go through the normal licencing processes. Instead it contracts out work to individual drivers who can choose to accept or decline the contract.

    Personally I would not use Uber as I already have a vehicle, which I think is the case for most southern Albertans. I think that Uber would only really be useful and profitable in larger cities. That being said, there doesn’t seem to be a very good screening process for these drivers and as many others have commented, there does seem to be an issue of potential safety concerns. In my opinion Uber is just another platform like many other online service businesses and meets the needs of those that frequent the site looking for low cost transportation. Sites like amazon or kijiji have taken over a significant portion of the consumer shopping market segment. However, online hacking, theft, and misrepresentation pose added risks to the consumer that would not be present in shopping mall. Unless those security concerns can be completely negated amazon and kijiji will have a hard time capture all of it’s market segment. Similarly, It would be unreasonable to think that Uber could capture all parts of the transportation market segment.

  12. Danielle Anvik

    Uber is a service to transport people, as an alternative to taxis. While taxis are licensed, often at high cost, User allows drivers to enter the industry with few restrictions. Eligibile drivers in Alberta must be at least 21 years old, with a full Class 5 drivers license, and ability to legally work in Canada. The vehicle must be 2006 or newer in good condition, not rebuilt or salvaged, with 4 doors and 5 seatbelts. Drivers need to satisfy a background check, with no criminal record and a good driving record.

    Disintermediation is giving the user direct access to information so that they do not need an intermediary person, such as a salesperson or a lawyer, to perform a service. Uber allows customers to directly contract with a driver, rather than going through a taxi or other intermediary service.

    One Uber driver reported that most users had very little conversation with him. Even their destination was pre-programmed when they requested the Uber, so the typical initial conversation of “Where to?” was skipped.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to use an Uber. They sound interesting, but I have a few questions to satisfy before I would choose one over a taxi. Mostly my concerns are about safety – both in terms of safe drivers, safe vehicles and personal safety for users.

  13. David Zhang

    Uber is a ride sharing APP that connects people seeking a ride to an Uber driver willing to accept their request. Almost anyone can be an Uber driver, the only requirements are passing a background check, having a valid driver’s license, and finally owning a car with proper insurance. Seems like an easy entry, and what’s more; an Uber driver in NYC can earn an annual salary of 90k, while their “official” cabbie counterpart averages only 30k annually. Along with the added convenience of easy user interface and hassle-free payment directly through user’s APP accounts, Uber has spread across the globe. As Uber rose to prominence, other copycat ride sharing businesses quickly followed to try to get a slice of the Uber pie; adding more competition to conventional cab drivers who once held a monopoly in their industry. It is not a surprise to hear resentment from cab drivers against the fast growing ride sharing business, which often turned into the violent protests that we’ve recently seen on the news. Would I use Uber? I am not sure, given my geological location my need for a catered driver is minimum. However, if I were to visit a metropolis area, I’d be very curious about Uber. Everyone’s heard of them, therefore they must be doing something that makes them stand out amongst the crowd.

  14. Shiqi Wang

    Uber operates through a smartphone app or web browser, allowing users to request a ride and track its progress in real time. Both rider and driver can see each other’s picture and profile on the app which requires both parties to accept one another before any rides are arranged. The app then uses GPS to guide the driver to the rider, and on to the rider’s destination. Uber calculates the estimated fare ahead of time and transfers the money electronically, so no physical cash is exchanged and no one skips out on the fare. Uber is cheaper than a comparable cab ride, since it cuts out a lot of the overhead costs that come with running a fully-licensed and regulated taxi service. Many have lauded the service as a low-cost measure to ease city traffic and speed up taxi wait times, while driving down taxi prices. I would use Uber as a normal customer. My first experience of using Uber was when I travelled in Seattle with my friends, we are just arrived the new big city by taking ferry at night, we need to take a taxi as soon as possible to check in. However, there are few taxis in the street which is hard for us to catch one with many luggage. There was someone thinking about why not using Uber, so we just downloaded one and used it. Then we just fell in love with using it during the rest several days in the US.

  15. Narinder

    I think Uber has great potential in the future it benefits individuals who don’t drive making their lives lot easier, they have easy access to a ride . Convenience is a huge factor in the success of Uber. These days almost everyone has a smart phone and Uber utilizes that. A customer looking for a ride can download the Uber App and access transportation when needed at the tap of a finger. The app allows them to see where the Uber driver is, track the time how long it will take to get a ride and allows people to see what kind of vehicle they will be traveling in. Uber is a fast, convenient and cost effective way for individuals to access needed transportation. Uber gives the driver flexibility on how much income they would like to earn. An Uber driver can earn a more substantial income than any taxi driver.

  16. Zhiyao Guan

    Uber is a car service which functions via a smartphone app —– Uber app. Customers can get a ride by sending requests through the app. And drivers will accept the order and head to the riders’ location once they see the request. There are also different types of cars for riders to choose from. Prices vary depending on which kind of cars they select. What’s more, the service fees can be automatically charged because consumers’ payment information are tied to their accounts.
    Personally, I would use Uber. First of all, it’s convenient to make an order. By touching the smartphone screen, requests will be sent to the drivers. And you can get a ride within a short period of time. Secondly, it’s flexible. You can choose the specific type of car you need. Assuming that you don’t have your own vehicle and you are a new comer in the city and buying a lot of stuff for your new accomodation. You don’t have the capacity to take all the stuff back home. Uber app will help you. It provides various types of cars for you. And you can choose the one that is most suitable for you. For those two reasons provided above, I would use Uber.
    In my point of view, Uber is not an example of dis-intermediation. It’s a kind of intermediation between drivers and riders. Also, it connects the riders from the places of departure to the destinations. So, Uber is an example of intermediation.

  17. Yichao Jing

    Uber as a smartphone app is an online car service that allows customers to submit a trip request on short-term notice. It request divers location and then customers can order a taxi in this app, and driver who accept the order will come here as soon as possible. Customers can pay fee online and cheap than others by using Uber. I think Uber is a convenience app for who want to get a taxi quickly. What is more, it is a good choose for people who have background check, driver’s license, and car insurance, and own car do not have a job and want to earn money. According to the video, Uber drivers can earn more money than regular drivers. In my opinion, I would love to consider use Uber because it is cheaper than other taxis, and also I can choose a car that I want. However, I have a little bit worries about Uber cars’ safety because it looks like there is no strict rules for these drivers. Uber is not an example of dis-intermediation because this is an intermediary app between Uber drivers and customers.

  18. Karla Carcamo

    Uber is a car service that is like a taxi-service but is quicker and gives the consumer more options in type of car. It keeps the consumer informed of its whereabouts which allows for better planning for the consumer. Pay options are more convenient for the consumer while drivers initially get paid more than your average taxi driver.
    For myself, I’ve been skeptical on the uber movement and would consider using one if all safety checks have been met and rigorous background checks are enforced on drivers. I would say yes, Uber is an example of disintermediation since it is using alternative channels that directly connects the consumer with their car service. The app makes the connection but we are removing the middle person. Uber is the platform of which we can make the connection. Also, the cost of the middleman is reduced.

  19. Kurtis Hawkins

    Uber is a peer to peer user based service that connects customers to drivers seamlessly and efficiently. All parties involved in Uber benefit from this platform, the drivers make more money than the traditional taxi company, the customer received better service and a cheaper ride while Uber also gets to make a tidy profit. From personal experience i used Uber In Las Vegas numerous times and is highly recommended! I would not consider Uber as enabling dis-inter mediation as they are still the company in between the consumer and the driver. However, they do cut down several barriers to entry that taxi drivers are slaves to!

  20. Jiani.Z

    Uber is an online transportation company that allows customers to call for a trip by simply using their smartphones. It has its own mobile app and it’s convenient to take a car in a reasonable price. Uber drivers use their own cars with car insurances and driver’s licenses; meanwhile, drivers have been checked background before they become Uber drivers. I think the most obvious advantage of Uber is that it offers different types of cars, which can meet different needs. Besides, drivers have their own insurance so the company may avoid trouble sometimes. Personally, I would be happy to use Uber to take a ride when I am familiar with the place; it is actually cheaper than taxies and it has different choices to choose, which is one thing that I love most. What is more, Uber often provide coupons and discounts and it gives customers an approximate price before getting a car. However, it seems that Uber drivers does not have a strict rule than regular taxies drivers so I won’t use it in unfamiliar cites. Uber is not an example of dis-intermediation because it is an intermediary of customers and Uber divers, and it charges fees from drivers.

  21. Nisali

    Uber to an extent could be seen as an example of disinter-mediation. I still acts a little bit as a middle man and they make a profit, but the costs associated with the running the company are limited to the upkeep of the app and a business licence. The car and insurance are owned by the driver so Uber doesn’t have to pay maintenance for the cars, insurance, wages and they have limited liability in case something goes wrong. Uber also has technology acting as the middle man. It is all done through the app and essentially the driver and the client are communicating directly with each other with the app as the medium of communication.
    Even though it is a good idea, I would not use an Uber, especially in a big city. Just because someone can pass a background check doesn’t mean that they won’t do something to you. In a small city I would be more likely to use one. Even with the background checks and the clean driving record, there really isn’t any other form of monitoring happening in the cabs. The driver could be ripping you off if you don’t know your way around a city and drive the long way in order to make more money and neither Uber nor the client would have any idea.

  22. Sadie R

    Uber is a transportation service provided to individuals with the use of a smartphone app and GPS eliminating constant calls from frustrated customers about the whereabouts of their taxi. Customers can order a taxi on the app from any location and once a driver accepts the request, the customer can expect a ride there shortly. Considering the few regulations Uber can by-pass, not purchasing a registered taxi sticker from the government, its cheaper and due to the easy hiring requirements there is an abundance of drivers that only had to have a license, car and pass a background check that our at your service. Uber also supplies different styles of vehicles you can choose to be picked up in to fit your party size or personal preference. Personally, No I would not use Uber. I have a vehicle and usually no need for alternate transportation. Also the requirements they place on hiring their drivers is not extensive enough for me to trust my experience in an uber taxi ending safely 100% of the time. Uber is an example of dis-intermediation. The add clearly states how prices are laid out, 20% of your payment is devoted to the cabdrivers and your payment is made immediately when arrived at your destination using your account on the app. Customers know the amount they pay for the ride, verse directly to the taxi driver so if they are not willing to comply with the standards placed by Uber they can find a cab through another service.

  23. Cecile Chan

    Uber is an app-based ride sharing service operated with smartphones and GPS founded in 2009. It allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars to take customers to their destination. I would most certainly use Uber as a means of transportation due to the fact that city taxis are limited and most of the time I could not get a ride as soon as possible when I am in need. I also believe that Uber has a lot of advantages such that it provides a lot of job opportunities for self employed and unemployed citizens which could possibly decrease the unemployment rate in the country. Uber will not be considered as an example of disintermediation as the app itself acts as an intermedia between customers and uber drivers. As stated in the video, Uber company also take 20% of the ride fare from the drivers, unlike self employment, drivers do not earn 100% of the fare.

  24. Matthew Sentes

    Uber is an adaptation of a taxi service. By using the app, an individual can select the vehicle that they want to be picked up in. They can also see where that vehicle is on their way to pick them up. Depending on which type of vehicle that you get and where the Uber driver is, it can be a cheaper and faster alternative to getting a Taxi. I would not use an Uber for two reasons. One, I have never needed a taxi and I do not forsee myself using a taxi in the future. Two, it seems way too easy to become an Uber driver that I do not feel like it is that safe. Only needing a background check does not seem to be an adequate amount of safety to get into a strangers vehicle. Uber also has gotten into some trouble in the past with some of their drivers not acting professionally while driving individuals around. Uber is not a dis-intermediation because the Uber app is the intermediary. The app is the same as phoning a taxi company and them sending someone to pick you up. The app takes a portion of the money from the driver just like any taxi service would. Although the amount of money that the app takes would be much lower than the taxi service because they do not have to pay for the medallion.

  25. Pelumi Ajiboye

    Uber is describe has car service that provides convenient,ease of payment, more affordable then taxis, ability to request a vehicle through the uber app which also shows the drivers rating. Uber offers best services, and i can use it to replace a taxis because it is less expensisive or when running late to work. Uber Is an example of disintermediatin that enable the user to order directily from uber app with out contecting the middleman know as the driver.

  26. Amy Giesbrecht

    Uber is not an example of dis-intermediation because even though uber drivers dont work for a company, you have to go to the app which acts as the middleman and takes a portion of sales from the drivers. Even though uber is more convenient as you can see where the vehicle is via gps, pay online and get a choice of vehicle, I think it is still safer to go with a regulated cab company.


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