Billionaire financier Nat Rothschild has unveiled a taxi app for London that enables people to book individual seats in shared black cabs.

The ‘door-to-door public transport network’, as the company is calling its Maaxi service, seeks to reduce the cost of a black cab ride by filling more of the seats, but the safety aspect of sharing a cab with a group of strangers could worry some.

To combat this, Maaxi requires its users to have a UK address in order to sign up, but that adds a reasonable barrier to entry, particularly for tourists. Users can also order male or female-only ride shares.

Lift-sharers are matched via a departures board screen in the app, which details both the taxi availability to their desired location and the price. The taxi is also constantly matching new riders who can jump in en route.

With competition from Uber, Kabbee, Hailo, Addison Lee, GetTaxi, CabMania, Boris Bikes, buses, the Tube, the railways, and just sticking your arm out to hail a cab, it remains to be seen whether London needs another, slightly more complicated, black cab service.

The app is available to download now.