Uber has had its problems since it launched in 2009 but the app has certainly had a disruptive impact on the cab industry that’s never going to be forgotten — it’s forced taxi drivers around the world to embrace the mobile, cash-free modern day era much faster than they wanted to. Now Uber has a new issue to deal with: rival apps.
Arro isn’t the first Uber competitor to see the light of day but it’s the newest one on the streets of New York City, perhaps the most cab-dependent city in the United States. As Engadget reports, it’s backed by Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT), which owns the video screens and payment systems installed in around half of NYC’s 20,000 cabs. What’s more, its makers are promising it won’t use Uber-style surge pricing when times are busy.
The app isn’t widely available to users yet but it is being tested by around 7,000 cabs in the New York City area, and you can sign up to be first in line when it arrives in the next couple of weeks. Like Uber, the service uses your iOS or Android device to pinpoint your location for pick-up purposes and to handle the payment process using the card you have on file. Even if you hailed a taxi in the old-fashioned way, you can still pay with Arro once you’re sat inside the cab.
Arro’s makers have plans to expand to San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and the District of Columbia in the near future, so it would appear Uber’s going to have to get used to more competition on the city streets — will its head start be enough to help it stay on top? The fledgling company has already had to deal with safety issues and regulatory hurdles that would’ve toppled less tenacious startups.