Ride-hailing service, Uber, announced on Monday 30 October 2017 that the company has launched a new set of features for driver-partners in South Africa. Some of the new addition to the popular app will allow the drivers to choose when, where and how they drive which will ultimately look to improve both driver and rider safety.
The platform has come under immense pressure from the metered taxi industry in South Africa and as a result, they are trying to make changes to offer a more flexible experience for the 12 000 drivers who use the platform every week.
New Uber features:
Arrival destination and time: The new feature of arrival destination and time allows drivers to set the time that they want to arrive at their final destination. Uber drivers commute across the various South African cities throughout their day with some trips taking them far away from their final destination, the drivers’ homes. With this new feature, the app will notify them when it’s time to start heading toward their destination and at the same time, they’ll be connected with a trip along the same path.
Long trip notification: This new feature allows drivers to be more aware of the type of trip they will embark on. With “long trip notification” drivers will be notified when a trip is estimated to be 45 minutes or longer, so they can plan accordingly.
“No thanks” button: Under the current Uber system drivers can either confirm a trip request or wait for the request to timeout. The new feature will allow drivers to instantly decline trips that they are not interested in. This, in theory, should also drive down the waiting time for riders.
Rating protection: The rating system is integral to Uber’s platform. With the current features sometimes drivers are given a low rating because of reasons that are not in their control. The new rating policy that will be implemented will ensure that these types of ratings won’t count towards a driver-partner’s score. Uber will still get the feedback to help them improve but it won’t impact the driver’s overall rating.