Uber is testing a new car pool service that allows users to catch a ride with other people scheduling similar routes.
The company says riders can split the fare and maybe even strike up a conversation with their fellow passengers -- a move it's touting as a "bold social experiment."
"There’s the interaction between riders in an UberPool — should they talk to each other?" Uber wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "When is that cool and when is it, well, annoying? We’re going to find out how this brave new world of UberPooling works."
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The company goes on to say:
While the UberPool idea is simple, the implications are profound. On average, uberX [the company's lower-priced option] already costs 40% less than [a] taxi. Imagine reducing that cost by up to another 40%! In San Francisco, how about $6 to Uber from the Castro to the Financial District? Or $10 from Sunset to SOMA? At these price points, Uber really is cost-competitive with owning a car, which is a game-changer for consumers.
Just a day after Uber unveiled the service, competitor Lyft announced it was also launching a car pool option.
The more curious aspect in all this will be seeing how users warm up to riding with the unknown. Either way, the potential for awkward, real-life rom-coms has never been so high.