This week, we travelled to London and visited the Business Travel Show at Olympia. It is a big event. The travel industry comes here to meet. The exhibitors include hotel chains, airlines, travel management companies (TMCs), ground transportation solutions and everything in between. At the event there is an opportunity to attend seminars. These give insight to the latest trends, emerging technologies and research findings in the travel industry. This year, the particular hot topic was ‘ground transportation’.

Duty of Care

Well-funded tech companies like Uber hosts some of the seminars. Their intention was clear. They want to target business passengers (alongside the general public). One seminar detailed the benefits of using Uber. It focused on key areas for business buyers. Buzz words like ‘Duty of Care’, ‘Visibility and Control’ and ‘Corporate Payment Solutions’ were in abundance. There was a real push – to move away from a culture of ‘pay and claim’ and adopt an automated payment system.

Cash vs Card Payments

Cash receipts can be a hazard, I agree. They can be manipulated (or even written by the passenger). Using Uber in a foreign country can help combat this risk but in the UK, I don’t understand why this is an issue? For some time, DrivenByQ has been able to take card payments in a car. The system is great! It emails a receipt to the passenger straight after the transaction. We have always provided invoiced accounts too. From day one, we included a Purchase Order number on an invoice. We could add a cost centre to every line too.

Quality First

Uber state their technology supports ‘Duty of Care’. Tracking a vehicle and a passenger is good for emergency situations – I agree. I suppose where we differ is that, I believe in getting the basics right first. Technology is good but this should only be promoted once your service level is correct. DrivenByQ has great technology but, we also have carefully selected drivers. I guess that’s why Uber forget to mention the most important buzz word – ‘Quality’.