The Uber API hit the market a little over a year ago. After a number of intriguing and innovative integrations, Uber has announced a new developer initiative to enhance the riding experience: Uber Trip Experiences. At a high level, Trip Experiences connects Uber riders to their favorite apps when a trip begins. To get developers' creative juices flowing, Uber teased a few ideas that could quickly become reality through the new offering: a ten minute playlist for a ten minute trip, a five minute news update for a five minute trip, things to do around a rider's destination, the ability to change HVAC settings when a rider is headed home.
Uber Trip Experiences is an enhanced feature of the Uber API. While developers can theoretically connect any app to the Uber app via the API, the user maintains control of the added functionality. Before any app gains access to a rider's Uber app, the rider must give the third party app permission to access Uber and a particular trip experience. Once permission is granted, the user may terminate access at any time.
Uber describes Uber Trip Experiences as the biggest update to the Uber API since Ride Request (launched in March of 2015). Uber continues to show its dedication to the developer community. The company recently hired its first Developer Experience Lead (Chris Messina), and continues to host events specifically aimed at the developer community. Uber recently crossed the 1 billion rides landmark, and believes that developers play a major role in the continued growth of the young company. As Messina recently commented:
"Uber is now a network facilitator built on the widespread proliferation of smart phones, GPS, and excess vehicle inventory in the built environment. But that is where it begins, not where it ends.... Uber will build the foundational Platform that will enable people to manipulate and control the world around them. But Uber can't do it all, and this is where the Uber Developer Platform comes in."