Despite its reputation as an “on-demand” service, Lyft’s latest feature goes in the opposite direction.
The ride-hailing company announced on Monday that it will start testing a new feature enabling passengers to schedule rides up to 24 hours in advance. Lyft will begin testing the feature soon with its own employees in San Francisco before rolling it out to customers in its hometown of San Francisco and beyond, the company added.
Scheduling a ride appears to be similar to hailing one on-demand. When selecting a pick-up location, a rider will tap the clock icon on the right to pick the exact time for the ride. Riders will be able to cancel or change their rides at anytime up to 30 minutes before its scheduled time. If they cancel after the 30-minute mark, they will be charged cancelation fees.
“Whether you have an early-morning flight and need to get to the airport or have a make-or-break business meeting cross-town, scheduled rides will get you out the door and off to your destination at your specified pickup time,” the company wrote in a blog post on Monday.
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Since a scheduled ride request will be dispatched to drivers at the actual time of pick up (not in advance), this means that “Prime Time” pricing, Lyft’s version of price hikes in times of high demand, may come into play. The company is using its initial tests to figure out how to handle Prime Time pricing and has no definitive solution as of yet, according to a spokeswoman.
Though it can be useful for all kinds of Lyft riders, those using the ride-hailing service for business purposes are an obvious target. Pre-scheduled rides can be handy when it comes to meetings, commuting to and from the office, and so on.
In late 2014, Lyft debuted its “Lyft for Work” program, which lets companies provide transportation credits to their employees and manage their spending. Though ride scheduling will be available for those users when it rolls out to more customers and cities, riders will still have to schedule their own rides, the company confirmed. An executive assistant, for example, won’t be able to schedule a ride for another employee, which could have been even more helpful.
Lyft’s main rival, Uber, doesn’t currently offer a way to schedule rides ahead of time. But a third-party app, TaxiLater, surfaced earlier this month for exactly that purpose. Fortune has contacted Uber about whether it plans to introduce a similar feature and will update if we hear more.
The story has been updated with details about Lyft’s plans for handling Prime Time pricing for pre-scheduled rides.