Travis Kalanick

New for-hire car service combines luxury with technology

New for-hire car service combines luxury with technology

Under the plush leather exterior of Uber Technologies Inc. beats the heart of a rebel.

The app-driven startup, which began operations in Baltimore at the end of January, hopes to attract upscale customers who don't mind paying extra — a lot extra — for the luxury of hiring a town car by smartphone to take them where they want to go.

"All we're doing is helping people find a classy ride easily," said Rachel Holt, general manager of Uber's local operation. "When you look at transportation in Baltimore, there's room for us here."

To carve out space in cities across the country, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick thumbs his nose at the establishment: the taxi and...

84°