Uber is seemingly in the news these days—the company is either laundering its image or adding tools to improve its services. Few days after it announced that will start tracking the activities of drivers to checkmate ones with suspicious background records, the company has announced two more tools to enhance pickup of riders.
The new tools, according to The Verge, will enhance communication between riders and drivers. Ultimately Uber wants to cut down on the number of rides that get canceled as a result of communication issues. Despite past efforts to make it easy for drivers to get closer to the location of riders, some rides have had to be canceled because of a few issues arising few hundred feet to a rider’s location.
Monday’s announcement is the latest in several efforts geared at tidying things up and making communication more effective.
“When the driver has not yet arrived at the pickup location, there’s this resounding sense of stress on their part, because they don’t know what to look for necessarily,” said Ryan Yu, Uber’s product manager for rider experiences per The Verge. “All they have is the pin and the address. We’re trying to give them more context.”
“Spotlight,” one of the tools announced by Uber, will provide you with make and model of the driver’s car. You will also be provided with other information including the plate number of the vehicle. In a crowded situation where a rider is unable to attract the driver to his location when his phone is raised up, the Spotlight tool will be a wonderful way to bail him out.
Uber riders now have the opportunity to use the app to light up their phone screens with a specific color. This will give the driver a clear sense of which smartphone to look out for. Every color of yellow, pink and green has a specific message for drivers.
Uber has also added a better way for riders to communicate their location to drivers. Riders can either send a message within the app by adding extra detail such as “I’m wearing a red hat” or “I’m standing on the corner.” To prevent loss of concentration while driving, drivers are allowed to choose from a list of canned messages including “be right there,” while the app reads them aloud, while the driver responds with a quick tap of the app.
Just last week, Uber announced that it will partner with background check provider Checkr, and Appriss to provide safety data to the company. The background checks will be ongoing, and will enable the company to continuously monitor drivers with criminal intent.
Appriss will notify Uber when a driver is newly charged with a criminal offense. This will be made possible through Appriss’ real-time collection of data. Once data has been made available to Uber, the company then decides whether or not to suspend a driver from its service to prevent further unsafe behavior.