UberPOOL Should be Effortless for Everyone

At Uber, we want to use technology to make carpooling affordable and reliable for riders, and effortless for drivers. It’s why over two years ago, we launched uberPOOL to make it easy for people headed in the same direction at the same time to share the journey.

Since launch, we’ve been hard at work improving the product, and addressing some of the most common feedback we’ve heard from drivers and riders. While some of the updates are visible to riders and drivers – like showing the cost of the ride and the time riders can expect to arrive at their destination before requesting – there are also improvements being made behind the scenes. Let’s take a look.

Faster Pickups

We’ve all been there. Your uberPOOL arrives to pick up another rider, but he or she isn’t ready to go. You and your driver are left wondering where the other rider is, and how much longer you’ll have to wait. Quick pickups are critical to the uberPOOL experience, so we’re working hard to minimize time spent waiting for riders.

Status Notifications for Riders: It’s important that riders be curbside when taking uberPOOL, however, we’ve not done a great job at communicating that. So we’re adding real-time instructions and updates for riders in-app. Riders will soon see updates like “be ready outside,” and “leaving shortly” along with updated push notifications to remind them to be curbside, and notify them that their ride will shortly depart.

Countdown Timer for Drivers: Drivers don’t alway know when to move on if a rider doesn’t show up, so we’ve built a timer in the driver app. When a driver arrives at the pickup location, a timer counts down from 2 minutes. If the rider isn’t in the car within that time, the driver is prompted to move on with the ride and collect a no-show fee to compensate for lost time.
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More Control and Clarity for Drivers

Pickups and drop-offs are undoubtedly one of the hardest parts of driving with Uber, and uberPOOL means a lot of both. We want to give drivers more control over their experience, and as much clarity around uberPOOL earnings as possible.

Route Extension:  Drivers told us that it’s hard to change lanes or make a quick turn without knowing where they’re headed after their next pickup or drop-off. We recently rolled out a feature that extends the driving route line on their app’s map beyond the next immediate pickup or drop-off. That way, drivers have the information they need to effectively continue their uberPOOL trip.

No More Math:  Today, each leg of an uberPOOL trip is listed as its own individual ride on their pay statement. This can lead to confusion since drivers are paid for time and distance of the entire trip — from first pickup to last drop off — just like uberX. So drivers will soon see the aggregated earnings for all legs of the uberPOOL trip, with a detailed breakdown for time, distance, and surge. By removing the math, we hope to make it easier for drivers to see what they’re earning.
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Better Matchmaking

uberPOOL is built on a complex algorithm that chooses the best possible match for riders and drivers at the time a trip is requested. But the uberPOOL ecosystem is incredibly dynamic and a lot can change in even one minute: a new driver may become available, a neighbor now needs a ride, traffic patterns change, and more. So, we’re taking matchmaking to the next level.

Automatic Trip Upgrades: We’ve built technology that continues to look for better matches, even after an initial match has been made. If we find a more convenient match for you, we’ll make that swap automatically. Trip Upgrades happen mostly behind the scenes, but we’ll always alert riders and drivers via push notifications with the updated details of their trip.

Predictive Matching: Based on historical trip data, we can estimate the likelihood of there being a very convenient match along your route. So while we’ll connect you with a driver when you request, we’ll hold off on matching you with other riders immediately if we think we’ll find a great match in the near future. That way, we can match riders and drivers to facilitate the most convenient and efficient trips possible.

When we launched uberPOOL over 2 years ago, it was a big bet. Today, riders have taken more than 250 million trips. And we’re working hard to make the next 250 million even more effortless, so we can get more people into fewer cars and help cities cut down on congestion and pollution over time.

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