Those cars you see on your Uber app aren’t always there

If your Uber is taking ages to turn up even though you can see it on the map, it may be a phantom car.

Sometimes when you try and get an Uber car you can be left waiting for a lot longer than the anticipated time within the app. That may be down to the company employing “phantom cars” that don’t actually exist as you wait for another to come nearer.

Uber has been criticised for the technique as some employees have admitted the app is more akin to a “screensaver” than actual real time locations of the cars.

The controversial personal driver app has denied the existence of "phantom cars" in the past and has now told Mashable that there are many other features that can mean the driver is late to your pick up.

The spokesperson said, “Our goal is for the number of cars and their location to be as accurate as possible in real time. Latency is one reason this is not always possible.

8 is great

“Another reason is that the app only shows the nearest eight cars to avoid cluttering the screen. Also, to protect the safety of drivers, in some volatile situations, the app doesn’t show the specific location of individual cars until the ride is requested.”

Zooming around near the T3 offices we found eight cars popped in a couple of seconds after throwing your pin to a new location.

While we're disappointed to find that we're not get true real-time readouts from Uber cars in our area, the admission from the firm doesn't affect its service and the visual reinforcement the car icons provide does give you some peace of mind.