A recent wave of updates to the Uber driver app is shaking things up in a big way. There are lots of changes, and drivers will love most of them. It seems the developers and coders at Uber listened to drivers and responded with all kinds of good things. This report will summarize what’s new and fresh in Uber news today, so you can see how the changes will impact your driving gig.
Here are the headlines:
- What’s with the change in fares for ping reservation rides?
- The new upfront fare screen and how it helps drivers
- More Uber app news: A redesign re-engages passengers and delivery customers
- Uber Explore: An adventure for Uber users brings more business to drivers
- Slick updates to the Uber Eats driver app assist couriers who shop
What’s with the change in fares for ping reservation rides?
A cruise around the driver boards uncovered a ton of questions about the way fares have changed when a driver accepts a ping reservation ride. In the past, drivers who picked up a reservation that may have been canceled by the original driver got the same rate that was offered to the original driver. Now the boards are filled with comments about how the rates seem much lower than the average reserved ride pay.
A second issue, which seems to be a software glitch, involves reservation rides where customers tip. Drivers complained that they got paid for the tip, but not for the ride. It’s hard to track exactly what happened or how many drivers were involved.
When something goes wrong between you and the Uber driver app, it always pays to report it directly to Uber. While it’s possible they have people reviewing the driver message boards and taking action on what’s posted there, complaints are more likely to be addressed when they are delivered directly.
The new upfront fare screen and how it helps drivers
The arrival of upfront fares shifted the uneasiness of Uber drivers into overdrive, especially with how the pings came across. The original design required quick reflexes and even faster calculating ability if a driver hoped to see exactly what could be expected from a ride.
Drivers liked that they could see where a rider wanted to go, but with about only 10 seconds to add up the distance to pickup, the distance of the trip, and the time it might take—and weigh all that against the fare, the old way of doing things was tricky, in more ways than one.
Uber has now responded to driver complaints with a redesign of the upfront fare screen. The new arrangement does all the calculations, so drivers can see the time, distance, destination, and fare price at a glance. This new iteration answers a lot of complaints drivers had about the initial reservation ping screen, but they are still suspicious about the way rates are calculated. Some complain that surge prices are built into the ride prices and that the basic rates are extremely low.
No doubt this new arrangement makes it easier for drivers to see how much they will get for the time and distance they will invest in taking a ride, while retaining the benefit of knowing where the ride will take them. Uber gets kudos for responding to drivers’ needs for a safer and clearer way to make decisions about which rides they want to accept.
More Uber app news: A redesign re-engages passengers and delivery customers
You may or may not have seen the recent updates to the app for Uber customers, but it’s as important to drivers as it is to Uber users. Why? Well, when customers find it easy to navigate the app, they hire more Uber drivers to provide the array of services Uber has to offer.
Simplification is always a good idea when it comes to designing apps for people in a hurry, and that’s what Uber aimed for here. The new home screen lets passengers and delivery customers place orders with fewer taps. That alone makes it more appealing, as you can see here:
Screenshot from uber.com
To make it even better, Uber added a “Services” tab, which allows users to see the many ways Uber can fulfill their needs, based on where they live. In addition to rides, this might include
- deliveries of all kinds
The new “Activity Hub” lets customers view all their past Uber activity in one place, which could be a useful way for them to track their expenses or remember when they last made a certain trip.
The ride screen has been changed to let passengers have easy access to their saved destinations. All they have to do is tap “Where to?” on the home screen. Suggested rides, plus other ways to plan and save, based on preferences and patterns customers have demonstrated in the past, will be displayed as well. This makes users’ interaction with Uber much more personalized, making it easier for them to use options such as zero emissions or reserved rides. They’ll be offered new options based on their prior preferences, too.
The ride screen has improved functionality that lets certain users track the live progress of a ride and receive details about the vehicle in the form of notifications on the lock screen. This eliminates the need for passengers to keep opening the Uber app to see what’s up with their impending ride.
Uber’s new user interface is a class act, so expect loyal customers to stay with the “big dog” in the rideshare game, and for others to be more attracted to the ease and functionality the app has to offer. You can find out more about the new Uber app updates for customers at the Uber website.
Uber Explore: An adventure for Uber users brings more business to drivers
In an effort to bring all the things Uber does to the attention of the people who use the app, aka passengers and delivery companies, the company has developed a whole new adventure: Uber Explore. It’s a concierge service of sorts, which allows customers to book an entire experience all in one place.
The “Explore” tab in the Uber app brings passengers to lists of recommended places, based on their previous patterns and preferences. Whether it’s food and drink, art and culture, or music and shows, the Uber app will give them reviews, photos, directions, and further services including
- one click rides. Through the “ride there now” option, one tap takes passengers straight to the screen where they can order a ride.
- special Uber Explore offers. Discounts on rides and places for customers to explore, including top restaurants and bars.
- seamless purchases. Grabbing tickets to events and experiences is really easy when you pay with Uber wallet and payment profile.
So far Uber Explore has been rolled out in 14 US cities and Mexico City. Customers are sure to go to Uber more often due to the conveniences Uber Explore offers. Expansion is definitely in the plan, so expect to hear your customers talk about this new service from Uber soon!
Here’s how it looks on their end:
Images from uber.com
If you want to learn more about the Uber Explore customer experience, check out this article on Uber’s website.
Slick updates to the Uber Eats driver app assist couriers who shop
Uber is gearing up the app for the grocery delivery game. Now that drivers can opt into a program known as “Shop and Pay,” it’s possible to get orders that include shopping at retail locations (usually grocery stores), then delivering the goods to customers. Uber estimates around 200,000 drivers have participated in Shop and Pay.
After receiving feedback from drivers who worked with this service, Uber made a few changes to the app, making it easier for them to take courier orders and earn money with Shop and Pay. Shopping, of course, adds a bit more to the task of being a delivery driver. There are issues such as out of stock items. And paying with a pre-charged card sounds convenient—until you decide you want to shop and deliver while you’re out, only to remember you left your card at home.
Uber says the company strove to take into consideration the many interactions a Shop and Pay driver would encounter. The newest updates factor in the biggest issues drivers complained about and offer solutions, such as
substitutions for out of stock items. The sinking feeling of racing around in search of a particular item, only to find the store’s run out, is pretty common. To raise the spirits of shoppers and customers, Uber now suggests substitutions by type and brand that could fill the customers’ needs.
digital Plus Cards. Traditionally, drivers would apply to work for a service such as Uber’s Shop and Pay, and then wait a few days for a physical credit card to arrive in the mail. Now potential Shop and Pay drivers can use Apple Pay or Google Pay to activate their cards, and get to work instantly. The digital version of the Plus Card also eliminates the issue of needing to have the card on one’s person in order to start shopping and delivering.
a better order screen. Similar to the way Uber improved the upfront fare screen, they’ve redesigned the Shop and Pay screen to put all the information the driver needs in one place, so it’s simple to decide whether the trip is worth taking.
In addition to the amount the trip will pay, the screen that’s about to be rolled out will let drivers see
- the number of unique items in the order, rather than just the total number of items
- whether the order includes any large, fragile, or heavy items
These are considerations drivers need to analyze, so they know whether they’re capable of carrying the items included in the order, and whether the order will fit in the vehicles they’re using. It does seem that Uber is trying to meet the needs of its gig workers, and that’s a great thing. These common sense measures are good for drivers and may make Uber’s Shop and Pay even more popular.
Whether you work with Uber now, or are thinking it might be something you’d like to add to your gig mix, we hope these updates will keep you informed about what to expect. And remember: no matter which app you drive for, keep track of your miles and earnings automatically with the Gridwise app!