On Tuesday, an Uber blog post announced an updated version of the rideshare giant's enterprise-facing platform, Uber for Business.
Uber for Business first launched in 2014 as a way to streamline Uber rides taken by business professionals, and included features that allowed employees to directly charge business accounts for travel, as well as to send travel receipts to the company account.
Uber has since expanded its offerings through the platform, with tools like Uber Central, through which businesses have the ability to manage rides for customers and clients, requesting rides for clients who do not have Uber accounts or smartphones, all through a central dashboard.
The new offerings have four primary functions:
- Establishing rules. Through the new feature, companies can directly manage rules for employees, customers, and clients—including factors such as spending, ride-length, location, and more.
- Automated traveling. Another new feature gives managers the option to pre-set rides for employees, which could come in useful for commuters. Managers can also set established time frames when employees can use the service.
- Differentiating between users. Uber for Business will now allow different kinds of access to different users, like giving employees a certain stipend, or recruiters a way to request rides for job candidates.
- New UI. The platform has been redesigned to help streamline processes, and offers an option to give employees new privileges that could allow them to request rides as well.
Since 2014, as ZDNet has reported, Uber for Business has exploded, with about 65,000 businesses adopting it, resulting in an annual run rate in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion. "Uber recently surpassed Starbucks as the most common business expense, a recent study found," ZDNet noted.
According to Uber's post, the new features could result in a cost savings, by specifying rules around spending and travel time, and designating different levels of access. It could also save time by eliminating the need to make constant decisions around employee travel.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers:
- On Tuesday, Uber for Business, the ride-sharing platform's enterprise-facing endeavor, announced new features on the platform to give businesses more control.
- The new features include establishing rules for employees, customers, and clients—including things like spending, ride-length, location, and more.
- The updated version also allows managers to automate rides for employees, set established time frames when employees can use the service, and differentiate between different types of users, allowing for different levels of access.
- Roadblock: Uber's driverless fleet stops San Francisco experiment (TechRepublic)
- Uber to launch self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh (ZDNet)
- How data and machine learning are 'part of Uber's DNA' (TechRepublic)
- With launch of 'Uber AI Labs,' ride-sharing giant aims to expand AI research beyond autonomous cars (TechRepublic)
- Uber's driverless rides in Pittsburgh: What's happening and what it means (TechRepublic)
Hope Reese has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Hope Reese is a journalist in Louisville, KY. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Undark Magazine, VICE, Vox, and other publications.