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Uber is trying to create a future where nobody owns cars

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David Cornish
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From 4pm today, UberPOOL will allow Londoners to share their cab journeys - cutting the cost of the controversial taxi company's already cheap rides.

At around 2am on Saturday morning, as the crowds stumble out of their office Christmas party, new friendships could be formed as punters desperately search for a free cab, uniting with other Uber users as they seek safe, cheap passage south of the river.

Fares will be split at the end of the ride via the app, ending the ritual stop-off at a cash point as someone realises their £3.20 probably won't be enough to cover them. It's up to the driver to find other passengers: if you nominate yourself for a 'pool' ride, you automatically save 25 per cent on the fare, even if the driver fails to find another passenger.

Pool

So confident is Uber in its new ride-sharing offering, that Jo Bertram - regional general manager of Uber's UK operation - has suggested it will end the age of car ownership.

"We believe UberPool can become a credible alternative to car ownership," she said in a statement.

"If you can press a button and get an affordable ride across town within minutes at any time of day or night, why bother to own a car at all? By getting more bums on previously empty seats this new service will help cut congestion and pollution in London."

When car ownership in the capital was reviewed in 2012, Transport for London reported that 54 per cent of London households owned a car - a figure that Uber is looking to chip away at with its new service.

But will it catch on? Will notoriously uncommunicative London commuters want to talk to a random, drunken stranger in the early hours of the weekend? Do any of those car owners actually use their vehicles at the peak hours in which Uber is proposing to cut congestion - or did they leave their car at home because they're out for a drink anyway?

We'll let you know at around 2am tomorrow morning. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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