Uber Launches API with Starbucks, United Airlines and More

integration_examples_2Uber has released an API that enables any developer to incorporate some of the taxi apps functionality.

“While simple on the surface, the seamlessness of the Uber experience belies the enormous complexity that powers it,” said Uber product manager Rahul Bijor in a blogpost. “There are so many things we would love to build on top of it. We’ll never conceive of every great idea, though, and we could certainly never build them all.”

The API gives developers the ability to display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history, and pass a destination address along to the Uber app. Its also possible to directly book a car, but as this will actually dispatch a driver, costing them time and money, this functionality is initially limited to a small set of partners.

At launch, there are 11 of these partners, including Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, OpenTable, Time Out, and United Airlines. These brands will plug the API into their existing apps, to offer users airport pickup, or to a just-booked restaurant, or – in one of the most unusual integrations, with journal app Momento – to view a timeline of their Uber trip history.

“We believe that any app with a map is a potential Uber API partner,” said Bijor.

Uber has also launched an Affiliate Program, which enables developers to earn credit toward free journeys in Uber cars for each new user they refer.