August 21, 2014 8:31am
Uber, the on-demand taxi service available in 40 countries and hundreds of cities including Toronto and Montreal, has unveiled an API for third-party developers to integrate the service.
Several developers have already integrated the Uber API, including United Airlines, OpenTable, Tempo Calendar, Trip Advisor, Momento Journal, Hyatt Hotels, TripCase and Starbucks. Google was the first company to integrate the service, though the API wasn’t public at the time, into Maps.
At the moment, the Uber API can do everything the app can but actually call a driver, since that has real-world implications if not correctly implemented. Developers can “pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history,” according to a blog post, while only certain partners can actually request a ride. Uber is rolling out that feature “in a more controlled fashion.”
The potential here is limitless: users can request a taxi after finishing a dinner booked in the OpenTable app, or book a ride to or from a hotel from Hyatt’s mobile app.
It’s a good move for Uber, which just raised a huge $1.2 billion financing round, to get ahead of competitors like Hailo, Lyft and others.