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(Pocket-lint) - The smart taxi service Uber has announced a new feature called UberPool which lets users share rides.

In busy centres where lots of people are using Uber to get rides in similar directions at similar times, why not share and save money? That seems to be Uber's thinking anyway. Since Uber sees all the journeys requested on its app there must be enough cross-over for it to warrant creating the UberPool option.

Initially even if UberPool doesn’t find a match for you to share with it will discount your ride, presumably to promote use of UberPool.

UberPool is in private beta right now to work out the kinks but will allow users to save money. You won't know who you're sharing a ride with but it seems like a great way to help the environment too.

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But it's not so great for taxi drivers who will loose more individual fares. Even after London's black cab incidents Uber still seems to think it knows best for drivers.

UberPool could even be a great way to meet new people. We can imagine the Uber-sponsored romantic comedy film is already in the works.

The UberPool option will work in the same way as the usual Uber app, calling a taxi to your location. Only you'll be able to activate the UberPool option and be told the first name of your co-rider. If no match is found you get the discounted journey anyway.

UberPool is rolling out in private beta right now with broader expansion planned for 15 August. Check out the Uber website to see if it's available in your area.

Writing by Luke Edwards.