Hailo's long been a friend to London's black cabbies, giving drivers another way to find punters through its mobile app. With competition from upstart Uber already rubbing black cab drivers up the wrong way, they went as far as vandalizing Hailo's HQ when the company announced that it, too, was going to launch a private car service in London. Undeterred, the new HailoExec option has started to roll out to Hailo's iOS and Android apps, meaning you can request a ride in one of the company's new, in-house fleet of luxury motors. Hailo's own drivers might not possess the same Knowledge as black cabbies, but getting lost in the labyrinthine streets of London won't be a burden on your wallet, as you're quoted the full cost of the journey before you set off.

The new private car service essentially makes Hailo a direct Uber competitor -- especially since the latter added a way to hail black cabs from within its app recently. Considering Hailo's operated relatively uncontested in London and elsewhere, it's reacting quickly to disruptive new player Uber, even if it's losing a few friends along the way. Seeming as HailoExec doesn't calculate fares live, it's unlikely the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) will be able to use the illegal taximeter argument to give Hailo any bother. Although we do cringe at the thought of another misguided attempt to shut down competition as opposed to, you know, just competing.