Next up on our list of companies that want to take over the world is Uber. They’re kicking yellow cabs to the curb, trying to take over mass transit with their bus system and now they want to be your travel agent.
On Dec. 24, 2015, Uber locked up a patent that can be used to plan trips. Not surprisingly, the prototype is called “Uber Travel” in the images and the patent shows how you could book a flight and/or an Uber cab. It’s pretty much everything you’d expect from a travel service. You input your start date, location, destination and then Uber’s “magic” gets to work recommending an itinerary for you.
It’s a little different from how a conventional trip is booked, but only in the sense that you can do multiple things at once… you know, like how a travel agent would do it for you. This way you won’t have to book flights, a hotel, transportation and your itinerary in multiple steps.
What’s more, Uber’s system will be able to calculate the total cost of your trip… minus food and whatever you spend on gifts. It’s a smart move by Uber, who will be infringing on the territory of Kayak and Travelocity. They’ll likely offer travel packages and deals to make their product more enticing.
They really want to cover all of their bases here, and will be working in conjunction with the airlines and passengers to find out their seat preference and the on-time performance of the plane. This way the customers can get the seats they want and Uber can use the on-time data to recommend the best time to call one of their cabs to diminish waiting time. They’re also looking into working with hotels and “shared-economy systems,” which would let people rent out their apartments… so probably Airbnb.
“The information may include a location at the airport where the user can be picked up in connection with receiving the on-demand transportation service, and a timing indicator to indicate when the user should make a request to receive the on-demand transportation service based on a real-time determination of a number of available service providers in a vicinity of the airport,” the patent states.
That’s all well and good, but Uber isn’t exactly a company that airlines are too keen on doing business with. A lot of airports forbid Uber from operating on their property and impose large fines on drivers who show up to pick up passengers.