Businesses Can Book Employee, Client Travel Through UberCentral
Uber has unveiled a new dashboard called UberCentral that lets businesses secure multiple Ubers at the same time. The dashboard is designed for both small business owners and those in charge of travel arrangements at larger companies. UberCentral is now available to users in the US and Canada. The service was formally launched by the ride-hailing giant on Thursday.
Uber posted a description of the new service online that says, “At Uber, our mission is to provide convenient, reliable transportation for everyone, everywhere. And we aren’t alone. Many businesses want to make it easier for their customers to go about their day — whether they’re picking up a last minute gift, dropping the car off for an oil change, or heading to an appointment. That’s why we’re excited to launch UberCentral, a new way for businesses to connect with their customers.”
The description continues, “UberCentral is a dashboard that enables any business — large or small — to request, manage, and pay for multiple Uber rides on behalf of their customers. UberCentral is designed with all kinds of companies in mind — from senior centers and retailers to car dealerships, hotels, and more.” Uber says that it’s been working on UberCentral since the end of last year.
The description also offers several examples of how companies might use the new service. Hotels can use the service as an easy and convenient way to take guests to and from the airport. Senior centers could use the service to get their tenants to appointments. Car dealerships and high-end retailers could also make use of the service to transport important customers to and from their locations.
The dashboard can be accessed via a standard Web browser or by using the Uber app. The entire process is managed by the business that requests the ride. Travel planners can request several rides simultaneously, track their progress, and pay for them all from a centralized dashboard. Businesses have the option to book rides from several of Uber’s options, including UberX and UberBlack.
Multiple rides can be requested from a single account by entering the customer’s phone number, pick-up address, and destination. Riders don’t need to have the Uber app or a smartphone for UberCentral rides. The rider will receive an SMS message indicating the details of their trip and a live link to an online map they can use. Widespread use of the new dashboard has the potential to introduce thousands of people to Uber’s service for the first time.
Uber has been continuously adding new features and tools tailored to its corporate customers’ needs. Many businesses seem to be interested in managing door-to-door Uber rides for their customers and employees. Companies already using the service include fashion brand Hugo Boss, department store Bloomingdale’s, and the Hotel Angeleno in Los Angeles.