Taxi fares to get even cheaper with UberPool ride-share service

As the taxi app market becomes increasingly competitive, businesses have to constantly improve their service in order to stay ahead of competitors.

Uber, just one of the companies occupying this space along with Lyft, Hailo and others, has today announced a feature that will allow passengers to share their ride and split the bill.

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UberPool should cut costs for passengers and better utilise the supply of available drivers.

While not everyone will be willing to share their ride with a stranger, Uber has called the new feature a kind of "social experiment." As such, the firm is not releasing the service across all its markets at first, but instead is rolling out a private beta.

From 15 August, a pubic beta will be released in the San Francisco Bay area and the company has announced that their partnership with Google will also help develop the new feature. Uber has stated that the search engine giant will be joining the scheme as an early adopter, as it shares Uber's "vision of a more energy-efficient world with less traffic congestion and pollution in our cities." Earlier this year, Google began integrating Uber into Google Maps.

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Similar services are already available, such as Hitch, which offers a ride-sharing service using software to maximise the number of passengers in a single car. However, with the momentum that Uber has already built up, it remains to be seen how popular its ride-sharing feature will become.