New Apps and Features to make Driving better for Uber/Lyft Drivers


(Preet) #1

Ever since Uber changed its CEO and introduced the new 180 days of the change, Uber drivers have been witness to many changes in the way the company treats them and their requests. The fight for survival is much more serious than just upgrading Uber apps. Lyft is constantly upgrading their service and improving their driver's experience and income. This constant battle is good for both passengers and drivers, it might cost Uber and Lyft more money to develop, but at the end of the day, it will improve the overall business model and experience for drivers and passengers.

This article will review some of the recent changes made by Uber and how these might affect us.

Long distance Trip Notifications in Uber

Uber is testing a new map system that will evaluate long distance rides. This relates to rides that will take longer than an hour, while it doesn't give the final destination, it does let the driver know that it is a long trip. Uber is also working on destination notification, so it might be probable that we will see this feature come together with a final destination point. This new feature will be of great use to Uber drivers decision-making process.

The long-distance driver notification will also update itself constantly, show drivers how long the trip will extend while on it, which is a basic feature of google maps and Waze.

The End to Surge Maps

Warm maps are the new syntax; these maps will show where high probability rides will occur based on historical data. The use of history and the constantly updated information is a tool used in machine learning and when adapted into a GPS and map system, provide a very powerful tool for predicting hot spots and surges. Although now Uber is calling it warm spots. In the meantime, you can get these maps from software companies such as Fare Pilot or Rydar. I guess that once Uber and Lyft incorporate these into their apps, it will put third party apps out of business.

Uber Pool pay changes

One of the biggest issues with pool driving is how to deal with all the irate passengers. Many inexperienced fares will start the trip happily until they realize that the driver isn't taking a straight line to the destination but picking up passengers along the way. Passengers can be efficient or slow, and the slow ones start the grumbling trend in the cars. Add to this all the smells and differences in opinion, as well as the starts and stops, traffic cops, irate drivers beeping and the necessity to change multiple lanes, and you end up with an irate driver too. The current payment model I so poor in comparison to a standard ride that drivers prefer to turn on destination filter and just get a ride along the way without having to deal with the hassle of pool rides.

This is still one of the biggest complaints in the industry. Drivers shy away from these and filter out pool rides, declining to take them. By restructuring the pay, drivers will reconsider all the implications of taking up pool trips and add them to their daily routines. Lyft is already paying their drivers this way, do Uber will follow suit with a better deal, at least that's my prediction since these companies like to leap-frog each other's deals.

Lyft App includes drop-off destinations

Another great headache for drivers is the fact that they don't have final destinations. Lyft has solved this issue, and now all rides come with a pick-up and drop-off destination point. Once drivers know the destinations, it will be easier for them to plan their daily routines. Although there are concerns that drivers will be choosy, and "cherry pick" rides based on destination points. This issue will be reviewed as the pilot study of this feature continues.

While Uber drivers have to deal with pre-quoted passengers, so the destination is known, but the pay is different to what the passenger agreed to pay. This is construed as being very greedy on Ubers side, since they are bypassing the actual ride costs, and not giving the driver a cut of the extra income,

Uber Destination Filter

Uber's destination filter offers six uses now instead of two. This is an important upgrade since it will enable Uber drivers to use the destination filter at the onset of a shift and on the way home, and also use it four more times during their daily workload.

Uber Drop-off Area Filter

This feature will allow Uber drivers to set an area as a destination for drop-offs, this way when they get rides; they will already be filtered for a particular destination. This might clash or complement the destination filter. We do predict that it will work great for event management since drivers will be able to target a large event as a drop-off area and pick up passengers on the way to the event.

Uber Ratings Rate

Currently Uber rates drivers every 500 rides, this is quite a static system in comparison to Lyfts rate of 100. Both have their plusses and minuses, but Uber is considering a change to 100, so maybe Lyfts system is better. Some drivers will find this a pleasing change, enabling them to change their ratings when in a dip, others might find this an issue that needs constant attention.

Summary

Uber and Lyft have raised the glove, and the war for drivers is on. Until they replace all the drivers with a driverless car, they are both stuck dealing with daily issues to improve their service to drivers since drivers are the face of the company. Uber will continue to provide many new apps and features during its 180 days of the change, and Lyft will most probably continue to take a larger percentage of the market due to Uber's mismanagement until now.


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