Uber Attempts to Address Driver Concerns With New App Update

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Uber recently introduced a couple of new features into its driver-focused Partner App, intended to address some issues that the company's drivers have with the service, namely destination requests and rider wait fees (via The Verge). The company says that the updates are directed at removing a few of the pains with driving for Uber, and less about addressing ongoing litigation generated by its opposers.

One of the biggest new features is a way for drivers to specify a route on which they can pick up and drop off riders. This way, if a driver is already leaving the house with a location in mind, or going home, the Uber app will filter out any riders that aren't on their intended route. This addition has been tested in San Francisco for a while, but is beginning to see a wider rollout today.

uber driver update

Images via The Verge

The company is also letting drivers more easily end or pause their rider pick up requests. In the "current trips" section of the app, drivers will be able to toggle a slider to "go offline," letting them prevent incoming requests before their current trip ends. Uber hopes it'll let its drivers end their sessions before a rider hails their car, and potentially gives them a poor rating when the pick up is declined.

The update also supports the launch of Uber's fee system that charges riders for making a driver wait longer than two minutes at a pick up location. According to Uber, "In the cities where we’ve been testing this, we’ve seen that riders are more likely to be prompt." An expansion of its branded debit card -- intended to help drivers receive payments faster and better handle their finances -- is also rolling out concurrently with the new update.

uber driver 2
Perhaps most interesting to those interested in driving for Uber, the company is offering discounted rides to all of its drivers. Those who complete 10 trips in a week will get a 15 percent discount on an UberX ride, and if they can complete 20 trips in one week the company will knock off 50 percent from one UberBLACK ride.

Uber has faced encroaching competition over the years from similar ride-hailing companies like Lyft, and has remained above water in the face of multiple class action lawsuits against the company. Most recently, a settlement was reached in two cases, where it was decided that Uber drivers would remain "independent contractors" and not "employees." Uber still had to pay $84 million to the approximately 385,000 drivers represented in the cases.

Looking forward, Uber has even announced entry into the self-driving car race happening in the industry. With testing occurring on the streets of Pittsburgh initially, the company aims to ultimately adapt the technology to eliminate the need for drivers from the service completely. Given the status of self-driving cars in the field, Uber's future goal is undoubtedly a ways off from being implemented.

Tag: Uber

Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago

Not bad, but 2 minutes I think it might be too short, 4 min would be better.
[doublepost=1465228798][/doublepost]
Is it a bad neighborhood or something?

What's wrong with just being ready by the time the driver arrives? Once a driver accepts your pickup request, the app shows you exactly what time the driver will arrive. If it says "7 minutes" then be ready and outside in 7 minutes. Not 8, 9, 10 minutes. Our time is money. I guess no one remembers waiting over an hour for a taxi to come pick them up, and how much more convenient an Uber is than that. People aren't as appreciative, nor respectful as they should be.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

I wish they would add tips in the app - one of the main benefits of riding uber is I don't need to have cash on me. With Lyft I can tip via the app.

I always tip cash for everything. I'm showing the driver, server, pizza guy, cable guy, and etc, gratitude for their good service, NOT Uncle $am.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

I stopped using Uber as and switched to lyft because of all the cancellations. Too often, I believe, it was due to them seeing my destination and cancelling because they did not want to go there. I often did not put in a destination until I was actually in the Uber. But some drivers would cancel because there was no destination. It's a funny business when taxis are not suppose to refuse a pickup or a destination (we know they do at some level) but it seems that drivers can be as choosy as they want. Anyway, I find Lyft provides me a better service for now.

[doublepost=1465230211][/doublepost]Neither app shows the driver the destination of the rider before you get picked up. In the Uber app, when you get in the car and the driver slides the begin trip button is when we see the destination. Lyft is almost the same. just when we arrive we see the destination. But way many passengers(riders) cancel when I arrive or five minutes after I arrive and they do not care at all that not only did I just waste 10-20 minutes to get to your location, I wasted my fuel also. Just so that you can "oops. I forgot to cancel until I saw you!" And yes in my market there is no fee to cancel. So it does suck big time
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
I stopped using Uber as and switched to lyft because of all the cancellations. Too often, I believe, it was due to them seeing my destination and cancelling because they did not want to go there. I often did not put in a destination until I was actually in the Uber. But some drivers would cancel because there was no destination. It's a funny business when taxis are not suppose to refuse a pickup or a destination (we know they do at some level) but it seems that drivers can be as choosy as they want. Anyway, I find Lyft provides me a better service for now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

I stopped using Uber as and switched to lyft because of all the cancellations. Too often, I believe, it was due to them seeing my destination and cancelling because they did not want to go there. I often did not put in a destination until I was actually in the Uber. But some drivers would cancel because there was no destination. It's a funny business when taxis are not suppose to refuse a pickup or a destination (we know they do at some level) but it seems that drivers can be as choosy as they want. Anyway, I find Lyft provides me a better service for now.

You are Incorrect. I drive for Uber and we don't see where your going until your in the car and start the trip. Most likely drivers are not picking you up to low ratings you have from previous trips. Rudeness, backseat driving,taking forever to get in the car or just being an ******* etc. All of these factors contribute to your rating which we DO see before we ever even accept a request.
[doublepost=1466809662][/doublepost]

A cancellation or late fee, thats not bad. hoping the driver gets that $ to go towards their fuel and maintenance.
I was checking out the App and it looks really nice...im glad theirs competition with Cab services..though hoping that drivers that use their cars get better compensated. thats gotta be a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle if you do this often.

Though, I have yet to use an Uber or Lyft...where do you sit? front or back? :confused: lmao never sat up front in a taxi service so I'm not hip to ride share.

THE BACK PLEASE
[doublepost=1466810043][/doublepost]

Maybe they have a city only or specific areas/distance filter (IDK if it even exists, just a possibility)

First of all we do not get a picture of you in the app. We know nothing about you except your first name and rating. Every trip you ride with uber you are rated by the driver. Things that give you a bad rating : Taking too long to get in the damn car, being rude, being a backseat driver, talking on your cell phone and every other word out of your mouth is obscene, being drunk and obnoxious etc. If I see a ride request with a low rating I decline it Everytime.
[doublepost=1466810125][/doublepost]

Not bad, but 2 minutes I think it might be too short, 4 min would be better.
[doublepost=1465228798][/doublepost]
Is it a bad neighborhood or something?

We don't see your destination until you get in the car and I start the trip.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
I wish they would add tips in the app - one of the main benefits of riding uber is I don't need to have cash on me. With Lyft I can tip via the app.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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