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UCAR: Transportation Service Design

In January 2015, China’s biggest car rental company, China Auto Rental (CAR), decided to join the ride-hailing battle with its new start-up UCAR

Its mission? To provide an on-demand car-hailing service that would stand out against the competi­tion. UCAR distinguishes itself from its competitors with a team of professional drivers who are UCAR employees, and a fleet of standardized vehicles which are all rented from CAR – a self-controlled, closed system with in-house fleets and drivers. EPAM Continuum helped UCAR establish itself as a trail-blazing service provider within the ride-hailing industry.

Key Challenges

The ride-hailing service industry has no shortage of competitors. Breaking into the Chinese ride-hailing market seemed harder than ever. As the UCAR brand emerged, the company fell short in two key areas: span of coverage and response speed. How would UCAR increase its market share and company valuation in a space crowded with well-financed players, all while providing homogenous services at below-cost rates?

Solution Highlights

EPAM Continuum developed signature features to reinforce the brand and help UCAR stand out from a swarm of competitors. With UCAR’s IT department, we installed on-board diagnostic devices, which take user preference data and recommend individualized routes and pickup/drop-off preferences.

The “cloud driver” model doesn’t just rely on an estimated time-to-arrival, but takes into account the many factors that can determine trip length (such as road conditions, driving directions, and gap time between orders), increasing the bandwidth of UCAR drivers. We also created a unique look-and-feel for the new UCAR app, which integrates UCAR’s signature features with upmost usability and simplicity.

The Results

On July 22, 2016, UCAR became a listed company on China’s NEEQ with a valua­tion of 36.9 billion RMB, or over $5 billion USD, making UCAR the first internet ride-hailing service in the world to be listed.

You can find the original case study from EPAM Continuum here.

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“The experience strategy provided by EPAM Continuum, including branding, service design and app design, is life-or-death critical to a traditional company looking to transform itself.”

Yaxiao Liu
Former CIO, UCAR


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