There’s (yet) another taxi app going to war with Uber
This one’s like Skyscanner for taxis
In cities across the world, Uber has the monopoly on taxi journeys. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s virtually thoughtless. Accordingly, the app has become a byword for the 21st century, on-demand app economy. Entrepreneurs try to dream up the Uber for X, or the Uber for Y.
And yet others try to dream up Uber 2.0: another way of cornering the taxi market. The latest is Karhoo, a price comparison taxi app that summons taxis from hundreds of companies – sort of like a Skyscanner for taxis. It’s signed up 80,000 taxis in the UK, but excludes Uber cars.
Karhoo users call a car by inputting their destination and preferred vehicle type, including minicabs, black cabs and executive cars. The app then compares the cars of your choice that are available in the area and dispatches one. You load your card details into the app, so you don’t need to carry cash. In other words, it’s an incredibly similar proposition to all the others.
This one’s signed up 30,000 cars in London. You can book days, weeks or months in advance or request an immediate pick-up. It’s soft-launched in London, and plans to be in New York and Singapore by the end of the year.
I used it on Saturday. On our way out, at about 11pm, we sorted a car easily; at 3am, when we needed one much more, it failed to pull any cars in the area. We got an Uber. Obviously, it arrived within minutes.
Still: the Skyscanner model is a neat one, it’ll have the support of the minicab and black cab firms which despise Uber and fear its stranglehold, and it’s another option when you’re cold and won’t contemplate a night bus.