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Allstate offers quick and easy pick-ups with mobile appBy
Allstate Private Car & Limousine Inc. has created a faster way for customers to request rides with its new mobile application.
The black car fleet has partnered with iRide Mobile to create the app that lets users book car services straight from their smartphones. Customers can request that a car pick them up from any location in New York.
“We got this app for the convenience of the client,” said Eddie Slinin, president/CEO of Allstate Private Car & Limousine Inc., New York. “We’ve been in business since 1983, and we want to provide quality service to corporate America.
“Every driver is licensed by New York City,” he said. “We do excessive background check to make sure our drivers are fully clean.”
Competing with Uber
Uber is probably the most known app for ordering cabs via an app. It even allows users to book helicopters to the Hamptons (see story).
However, Mr. Slinin wants to position the Allstate app with a different business model.
“Uber is doing everything incorrect, illegal,” he said. “They come in with an app and try to hire unlicensed operators. And they don’t respect any jurisdictions in any state.”
Taxi officials are concerned that Uber is problematic because city rules do not allow for prearranged rides in yellow taxis.
Allstate promises that its users will safely get to their destination with trained and licensed drivers that follow New York regulations.
On Allstate’s app, users can request an immediate ride or schedule a pick-up for later.
Once a user registers an account and logs in, the app automatically shows a GPS-enabled map of where the user is located. The user then has the option to “iRide Now” or “iRide later”.
After picking a time for the ride, users can include specific driver instructions like an airline and flight number if the pick-up is from an airport.
The new app is available for free at Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Allstate claims to offer transportation in real-time, with 3,000 cars ready 24 hours a day.
Rate your driver
One of the features of Allstate’s new app is the ability to rate drivers.
Users will be able to rate their drivers after they use the service. Allstate did not previously offer customers a way to provide immediate feedback on their experience.
Drivers will be able to get immediate feedback and be able to improve their own driving. Conversely, it will provide Allstate with information about its drivers.
Car services have been trying to enter the mobile world, but through different channels.
For example, Newark, NJ, started a campaign earlier this year that allows customers to hail a cab by calling #TAXI or #8294 on their phone (see story).
Taxi cabs are also introducing new QR features that will allow users to engage with brand content during rides (see story).
Yet, the idea of actually ordering a cab via an app has been fairly limited.
Doing it right
Allstate decided to work with Ground Transportation Network and iRide mobile to create a secure, safe and legal app.
Allstate is also promising to charge the local rate without charging any premiums. Whether users use the desktop site or the app, they will pay the same price.
“For the consumer and the leisure traveler, there is need for what we call demand-responsive ground transportation, meaning ‘I need a car now,’” said Gregg Tuccillo, president/CEO of Ground Transportation Network, which runs iRide Mobile. “The traditional methods don’t work really well for that.
“With GPS location and the ability to see the nearest car, this meets that need for immediacy,” he said. “It’s very convenient. The younger crowd seems to live on their smartphone, and it just seems like a natural progression to use phones for ground transportation.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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