Uber launched its very own API earlier yesterday morning, and the taxi cab company’s new platform wasn’t a surprise for many who see Uber as the leading cab app company/service these days. Whereas the Uber app once included nothing more than just a taxi-booking service, Uber’s new application programming interface (or API) now allows users to see pickup times, pass along destination addresses (not just pickup addresses), trip history access, and fare estimates. To spread its wings, it has teamed up with big names like Starbucks, United Airlines Hyatt Hotels and OpenTable.
It wasn’t but a few hours after Uber announced its API that competitor Hailo decided to push forward with its own. While Hailo teamed up with company Citymapper to help Hailo users to both book and pay for a Hailo taxi cab ride last month, the company had yet to press forward with its API.
Hailo’s app will now not only allow for booking and paying for taxi cabs, but will also provide estimated times of arrival as well as transportation availability.
Hailo was started back in 2011 and has become a second competitor to Uber (behind Lyft) in recent weeks. Hailo started as a taxi cab service in New York before expanding its operations in Barcelona, London, and other cities worldwide.
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Earlier this month, Hailo decided to do a bike-ride promotion campaign in major cities Toronto, Chicago, and New York City in order to help the company’s taxi cab service compete against both Uber and Lyft.
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Some say that Uber’s API launch is a double sword: while it may help the company become even more profitable in the coming days, Uber has also been attacked by taxi cab drivers and companies because it has served to undermine state taxi cab companies in recent weeks.
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There are still lawsuits in German cities and even in the United States against Uber, and Lyft has accused Uber of trolling its service by placing over 5,000 prank taxi cab requests in order to distract Lyft from its ultimate financial goals.