Taxi Later

An iOS app to schedule Uber rides in advance

Hey hunters, you can now schedule your Uber in advance! Stop dealing with wait times - Request an Uber now, for later. I'm a sophomore at Harvard and I love when technology can be both fun and useful. During my distributed systems course, I started experimenting with the UBER API and delaying calls for the future. I reached out to Uber for ride booking privileges - and they accepted! I had been using my own cron scripts for a while, but with the new public API, I was ecstatic to share my code with the community. Today, I'm releasing TaxiLater for iOS. After a ride is booked, a node.js backend monitors estimated arrival times and books a ride at the appropriate time in advance - your Uber will be waiting for you at the requested time. Future features I've considered: Recurrent rides, ordering rides for friends/kids, partnering with Lyft, Fasten, etc. (if this becomes popular, maybe they'll open their APIs too!) I'd love your feedback, ideas, and support to bring TaxiLater forward. Feel free to ask any questions or share your thoughts!
@joshim5 Cool idea! What about surge pricing? Does it lock in the rate at the time of request? Or does it just accept whatever rate it happens to be at the time of booking? If so, does it let me accept or decline the higher surge fare? I would be hesitant to use this app if I booked using this and it blindly accepted whatever surge was happening at the time of booking. I usually like to look at Lyft and others to see if they're cheaper when Uber is surging.
@joshim5 Hey, just a heads up, after tapping "drop off" to change the address, the text in the box switches from "enter drop off location" to "enter pickup location." If you type in an address and tap it to select it, it still uses that as a drop off location, so it doesn't really change anything, just a heads up it might cause some confusion.
@ericfrumkin Hi Eric, thanks for the support! If there is surging at the time of booking, TaxiLater will prompt you to accept a higher fare. We're also thinking of new ways to help users. For example, book when surging is lowest within a 20 minute window, compare costs with other ride-hailing companies, etc.
@joshim5 Always cool to see a personal project take flight. Since you've already got an backend, I would assume it would be eas(y/ier) to make the app for other platforms, (web, Android, ect.) I think this is a great idea and could be very useful to a lot of people. Good luck on future development.
@pandemicmoon Thank you! Definitely will be easier the second time around, now that all logic and the backend are in place. Just hoping to help as many people as much as possible.
Hey, great idea and a feature I've wished they had included from the get-go. Question: how do you handle a situation in which a surge occurs in between the time you schedule yourself a ride and when the app actually orders it? Just an alert with the ability to confirm or cancel? Or?
@andym_dc Yes! We're thinking of more creative ways for the future, like accepting up to a certain surge multiplier or up to some expected cost. What would you like to see?
@joshim5 Thanks for your reply. I think both or either of those are very solid ideas. I think you mean accepting the surge or expected cost at the beginning, which is exactly what I'd think would work best. Order the Uber for 3 hours from now, unless it's above $10 to my destination; in that case, prompt me maybe 5 or 10 minutes before. I don't know exactly how surges come into effect, but if there is a positive trend, e.g. 30 mins before your trip it's 1.2, 20 mins it's 1.4, etc., perhaps give even earlier notice so as to afford the customer the opportunity to find a different ride?
Not sure how much I'd use this myself but my oh my would it be good for my parents. The first time I had them use Lyft when visiting me they ordered it days in advance. But I will say, it'd be great to be able to set this when I'm going in to a meeting or event so that when I get out my uber is there already. Slick.
I would definitely use this. I often take the train into the city to go to Cubs games. Scheduling a car in advance will help me on the way to the park, more importantly, on the way back to the train station.
Would be great if the price could be shown to.
@zappe Building this now - thanks for the idea!
@joshim5 Also some kind of way to get support from you, except here, would be nice!
@zappe Ooo of course! For now, feel free to reach out directly: joshim5 at gmail. Will add a support button to the next release.
@joshim5 great, I sent you an email.