Uber drops destination filter usage to 2


(Preet) #1

Uber drops destination filter usage to 2

We only recently reported that Uber raised their destination filter from 2 sues to 6 and now they decided to relegate the number of uses back to 2.

This must be a part of their 180 days of change. This turn around happened within a 30-day time frame.

Destination Filter

The destination filter was always a good feature used by most drivers to control the direction of the rides coming in when driving to a particular waiting place or designated work area. The concept of six directions was very useful for drivers that would take on long distance rides for their ride back as well as drivers that liked to move about rather than wait in one particular area. Starting a shift and ending it with destination filter was always a basic option and used up the two times by an Uber driver. Perhaps this is what Uber wanted, a small additional help for starting and finishing a shift.

However, when adding the extra four filter options opened up a whole one world for drivers.

Uber notified drivers of the change via the app and stated that it was closing down the filter from 6 to 2 in Canada and the US. What is interesting is Uber's claim that the didn't know how much the drivers enjoyed and relied on the Destination Filter. Which is a bad sign, since it means that Uber is not interested or not capable of following driver trends, We think tats a lot of BS, since the use of the Destination Filter is recorded by the app and Uber will have a full set of records how much the Destination Filter was used.

What Uber did claim is that the Destination Filter ruined passenger pick-up times in certain destinations, since drivers were being pinged on the way to a destination which made certain areas prone to surge effect.

Most drivers are upset with this change; the Destination Filter offers a lot of flexibility as well as income. One driver explained that without the use of the Destination Filter, driving from one side of San Fransisco over the Bay Bridge to the East Bay becomes problematic since drivers rarely get a ping when driving back into SF so without the Destination Filter, it's better to shut off the app and just drive back with a quiet ride.

Tactical Use

When Uber first brought out the Destination Filter it was used for basic start and end of shifts; there was not a tactical implementation of the feature. Another usage was to plan a return trip from a long distance drive. Some drivers saved the feature for driving towards a surge or hot spot, the reason being that if you set the filter to a surge, you wouldn't receive a ride that took you in the opposite direction. However, since there are only two uses a day, these tactical uses are moved from the equation, and the filter is being used mainly for the first and last direction of the shift.

The moment drivers had an increase of up to six uses, and they could incorporate tactical usage. This most probably caused an issue with Uber. How? Imagine a surge or hotspot and now put all the drivers in the area on a destination filter rout to the surge. All the customers that want rides in opposite directions would not be filtered into the equation, leaving hundreds of rides untended. This is perhaps the reason why Uber claims that the destination filter worked badly for passengers.

Suggestion

We suggest that Uber should raise it to four times. The first and last ride should be obligatory, and then two rides can be used within a shift. This will enable riders to either use or not use the first and last filters and add the extra two filters for in tactical shift usage.

Lyft Destination Mode

Will Lyft change as well? Lyft offers six destination mode rides; it doesn't work as good as Ubers since the algorithm is different, although Lyft claims that it is now releasing an upgraded destination mode that will assure drivers of more chances to get a request.

Conclusions

Destination filter is a great tool, but like many features cannot be viewed upon as one amongst many, it must be viewed as a part of a whole system. The holistic approach to technology deployment is the only way to succeed. So drivers and Uber have to accept that there will always be differences of opinion in the usage fo different features of an app. The golden rule is first to make sure the apps cater to attracting customers because without customers there are no rides. The second rule is that the app must provide accurate information to drivers so that drivers can provide a fast, efficient and safe service to the customer and the final rule is that the system will provide accurate data for corporate planning, budgeting, and analysis. These three rules work in synchronicity and must always be together to provide a perfect solution. App features are not for looking good or sounding great. They are for providing a service to all the stakeholders. (Stake Holders is a project management term for all the people involved, in this case, the customer, the driver, and the various Uber department employees).

Feedback is highly important for Uber's decision-making process, so the reason that the feature was reduced from 6 back down to 2 is based on specific parameters being reached, all software comes with KPI's (Key performance indicators) that provide a way to measure performance. The KPI's for Destination Filter would have been customer biased rather than driver biased since the filter is to enable drivers to reach more customers on a specific route rather than discount customers that are not on a route.


11 of Uber's 38 Changes for Drivers in 2017