A new ride-hailing service has launched in the UK looking to provide a different take on the sector and challenge Uber’s dominance.
Xooox – pronounced ‘zooks’ – differs from other ride-hailing apps by putting the drivers in control of finding their own fares and setting their own prices. Founded by UK startup Perfect Data, the app can be downloaded and use by any of the UK’s over 400,00 licensed drivers – whether they work independently or for a minicab operator. In essence, the app aims to supplement the minicab and taxi industry rather than compete with it.
The Xooox driver app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play, presents minicab and taxi drivers with a live map of all local passengers who are searching for a cab. From this map, drivers are able to choose any available passengers, set their own prices, and define how far they are willing to travel for a pick-up.
“Xooox places drivers firmly back in control of their livelihoods,” said Darren Tenney, an ex-cab driver and founder of Perfect Data. “For too long, drivers have had two options – find their own fares without the help of technology, or be enslaved to an algorithm that dictates when they work and for how much. Xooox changes this forever; from now on, drivers are in charge of the tech, not the other way around.
“Xooox is not another tech-based cab company trying to muscle in on existing trade, instead it’s a software tool that will empower operators and drivers to win more business off their own backs.”
The Xooox passenger app, which is also available for free on the App Store and Google Play, enables passengers to search for all available minicabs and taxicabs in their area at a particular moment in time. When searching, passengers have the option to filter rides based on fare, type of cab, emissions, estimated time of arrival (ETA), boot space, number of seats, and whether it’s wheelchair accessible.
Xooox, in addition to only allowing fully licensed taxi and private hire drivers on its app, provides passengers with a way to automatically report drivers to their licensing body with one tap. Meanwhile, the app is open to all of the UK’s over 350 cab regulators, so they can monitor the licenses of drivers.
“Regulators have been flying blind for way too long. They have plenty of rules about which drivers, vehicles and operators can work on their patch, but they have had no way of enforcing them,” said Tenney. “We’re the first ride-hailing service to open up its technology platform to the regulators, letting them see what’s actually happening at street-level. At last they will have the power to take action against unlicensed, banned or out of jurisdiction drivers. This will not only help keep passengers safe, it will help protect the income of the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding cabbies working in the UK today.”
Xooox says that its platform can also help to reduce pollution and congestion across the UK because taxi drivers can let the technology find potential passengers for them, rather than driving around searching for passengers. In addition, minicab drivers have no reason to return back to base once they have dropped a passenger off.
The Xooox driver and passenger apps are available to download now from the App Store and Google Play.