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Uber has been in the news a fair bit recently, from protests involving metered taxis to UberEATS finally launched in Durban. But the company’s latest set of tweaks is aimed at improving operations for drivers.
It today announced a number of features heading to the Uber Driver app, which the company claims will “make it even easier for driver-partners across South Africa to choose when, where, and how they drive”.
“Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with over 12 000 driver-partners across South Africa, hearing what they care about when using the Uber app,” explained Alon Lits, GM for Uber’s sub-Saharan operations.
“The feedback we got was monumental and driver-partners have been very clear on what they need.”
Said feedback resulted in four notable additions to the Driver app.
Arrival destination and time
The first addition allows drivers to set an arrival time for their final destination, which will allow the app to remind them when to end their shift.
As said arrival time draws closer, the app will also connect the driver with a trip along a similar route.
“This allows for more flexibility and allows them to make a little extra money on the way,” Uber noted.
Long trip notification
This feature is self-explanatory, and will alert drivers if trips agreed to may exceed 45 minutes, guarding against those trips from Cape Town to Durban via Bloemfontein.
“No thanks” button
Here’s an interesting one. The Driver app now allows drivers to turn down trips as they see fit.
“Currently, drivers can either confirm and take a trip request or wait for the request to timeout. However, with this new feature, the ‘no thanks’ button, drivers can decline the trip right away,” the company explained.
Uber does note that this is beneficial to riders too, as they’ll be “passed on to another driver sooner”.
Finally, Uber wants to guard drivers against circumstantial bad ratings.
“Sometimes riders might give their trip a low rating for reasons beyond a driver-partners control like an issue with the Uber App,” the company added.
These ratings won’t impact a driver’s rating score.
“Driver-partners are our customers too and to ensure our app works best, we need to make sure the app works best for them first. These new features have been created in order to develop our partnership, where drivers play a key role in defining Uber’s future together with us,” Lits added.
“We’re keen to create change that’s meaningful and improves their experience with Uber.”
Feature image: Uber Driver/Google Play Store