I love it when automotive technology extends its reach to makes life easier even for non-drivers.
Take, for example, UberCab.
Anyone who lives in San Francisco knows it's impossible to find a cab. And many times, even after you battle for 20 minutes on a Friday might to secure the attention of a taxi driver, you can still be blown off by a cabbie who can't (or won't) break a $20. Or take a credit card.
That's when you start wishing you hadn't turned down that Town Car's offer to give you a ride.
Enter UberCab, an iPhone app that enables you to hail a private car online.
The application uses GPS to determine your exact your location and sends a request to its network of private cars partnering with UberCab. Non-iPhone users can text their address to 827-222 (UBR-CAB) to catch a ride.
Billing is taken care of using the credit card number you entered when you registered for the service, so there's no need to worry about having enough cash. The Web site says an UberCab ride costs about 1.5 times the cost of a traditional taxi cab and the demo video shows a fare of $9, but each trip has a minimum charge of $15. Sometimes not standing on a drizzly corner in heels is worth paying the extra money.
For the moment, service is only available in San Francisco Sundays through Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight and Fridays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. (which IMO are often the worst times to find a cab). The application should be available in other U.S. cities later this year.