Last updated: 04:30 PM ET, Fri January 15 2016

Uber Enhances Your Drive With Trip Experiences

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | January 15, 2016

Uber Enhances Your Drive With Trip Experiences

Image via Facebook

Thanks to a recent Uber innovation there isn’t really a need to engage in awkward small talk with your driver.

According to Uber Newsroom, there is now something called Trip Experiences that may just pop up on your Uber feed shortly. The main point here is there is now something of an Uber feed of sorts.

The release states: “So today we’re excited to announce the launch a new developer feature called Uber Trip Experiences which connects riders with their favorite apps at the start of a trip when they may have some time to spare.”

Essentially, these are opportunities to capture your attention as you take that five or 10-minute jaunt to your next destination.

Yes, we know that you are already doing exactly that: poring over social media, checking the weather or beginning a gab session with the driver with the popular, “So how’s your day going?”

But Uber wants in on those precious moments, so it developed something that it hopes will lead to one of myriad opportunities for passengers.

A look at the release promises a few possibilities such as entertainment, news, local guides and apps for the home.

The integration, as Uber sees it, would allow apps to see how much time you have and where you are headed. From there the scenario is quite simple.

Imagine you are heading down the 405 in Los Angeles for home. The integration may pop up apps that will give you a rundown of the day’s news events in a specified timeframe. Or, perhaps, several guides would come up listing all the places you could eat in the area.

For those with smart home apps, you might be reminded to turn on that thermostat as you head home from a night out.

This is significant from a programming standpoint as Uber states it represents the “biggest update to the Uber API.”

For those paranoid about the new tool: “They (passengers) will need to give permission before any app can connect to Uber and access their trip details.  And if they find it’s not useful, users will be able to turn off the feature on an app by app basis.”

The Verge tempers some of the obvious worry about rampant ads: “a provision in Uber's developer terms prohibits developers from using the Uber API to distribute unsolicited advertising or promotions. But it doesn't prevent, say, an ad from playing before an entertainment company's YouTube video.”

Obviously, you never had any trouble finding apps to hold your attention during an Uber trip before. However, it must be said that the innovation is intriguing, which has us eager to check it out the next time we are on the road with a perfect stranger as our driver.


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