Traditional taxi drivers around the country probably felt a chill go down their spines today as Uber has announced that it is rolling out another new feature to eight British cities: Scheduled rides.
Uber users in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow will now be able to pre-order an Uber for a set time, meaning that a car will glide up to your house just as you need to go out, without needing to press a single button. The company rolled out the feature in London last month, and it says that so far it has been used "tens of thousands of times".
To schedule a ride, you just need to hit the schedule button, which appears at the bottom of the map - above the toggles for the sort of Uber service that you're after.
Separately, the company has also announced today that its own mapping cars are hitting London's roads from today. Similar to the likes of Google StreetView, the company says the cars will be picking up images to improve their data - which could translate to things like better pick-up and drop-off suggestions for UberPOOL trips, and more accurate estimated time data.
Reading the runes on Uber's moves into having its own fleet of mapping cars, it is clearly another sign that the company is attempting to become less reliant on Google's services, despite Google being a fairly early investor in it. Recently in the States, Google launched its own ride sharing service too - so all of this points to Uber and Google potentially being the two big self-driving car titans in a battle that can surely only be a few years away.