July 13, 2012 — -- What if you could summon an ice cream truck to show up exactly where and when you needed it, cold ice cream and all? Well, today, and only today, you can using an app called Uber.
The app, which usually provides an on-demand car service, has partnered with local ice cream trucks in seven cities today -- New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Seattle, Toronto and San Francisco. Users of the app, which is available for iPhone and Android phones, will see an ice cream truck option alongside the usual black car and SUV options. They will be able to pinpoint the location they are in and have the ice cream truck drive on over.
Like the regular service, which charges an average of $30 for a car, there's a fee. It is $12.00 to have the truck come on by to your location in the city; that price includes five ice cream choices. In New York City, Uber has deployed six ice cream trucks. A few of them are ice cream sandwich trucks from Coolhaus; the $12 order includes five ice cream sandwiches.
Coolhaus doesn't just serve normal chocolate-cookie-vanilla-ice- cream sandwiches. It has specialty ice cream flavors such as Fried Chicken and Waffles and Candied Bacon and then potato chip and butterscotch cookies. (Good Morning America has the recipe for the candied bacon one right here!)
ABC News had a chance to ride along with an Uber-equipped Coolhaus truck in New York today and watched the Uber team swiftly respond to two users. The ride was a bit bumpy, but the bacon ice cream made up for it.
Uber would only serve Uber users; it would not serve others that came up to the truck. "It's just for Uber users," Josh Mohrer, the general manager of Uber NYC, told ABC News. Mohrer monitored the Uber requests on an iPad app and called each of the users when the truck was outside and waiting. Users were charged $12 after receiving their ice cream.
Unfortunately, the service is only running today, but Uber is exploring other business expansion ideas.
"The idea is that FedEx gets you packages in 24 hours, Uber picks you up in five minutes. As a logistics company there are other applications of our software and what you are seeing is us thinking about what else the Uber software can be applied to," Mohrer said.
"In the future I can imagine it being messenger services or delivery of other kinds. We have a great fleet of drivers, they are happy to take passengers, I can imagine them being happy to take other things too."
Uber's ice cream truck service will end at 6 p.m. local time today. It's on-demand card service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.