Uber says it is “completely reshaping the way drivers accept rides” with a feature called “advance pricing,” which shows drivers exactly how much they’ll be paid for a ride and where they’ll end up after dropping off a rider. In its announcement on Friday, the company says the change is part of efforts to make driving for the ride-sharing service more flexible. Uber also plans to roll out a feature that allows drivers to see other ride requests in their area, so they can choose specific trips they want to make.
For riders, the changes, which have been tested in select locations, could mean fewer canceled trips because a driver doesn̵[ads1]7;t actually want to go to the destination, or realizes it won’t be a very profitable trip.
According to an advance fee support document, the amount shown to drivers before they accept a ride is based on “several factors, including base fares, estimated trip length and duration, pickup distance and surge pricing.” The document notes that if the rider changes the drop-off address or there is “unexpected traffic” along the route, the fare will be adjusted. The figure also does not include things like tips or waiting times.
The document warns that the move to upfront pricing, due to roll out “to most of the US in the coming months”, could mean some types of trips serve less drivers. As examples, it lists “long and relatively quick (traffic-free) trips” and “trips to high-demand areas.” However, it also says that the new system will mean drivers earn more on short trips, trips with heavy traffic, trips where they end up in an area with fewer cyclists, or trips where they have to travel a long way before reaching a rider.
Uber did not immediately respond The Vergeits request for comment on which areas of the United States will not receive advance pricing.
Alongside advance pricing, Uber says it will more widely roll out a feature called trip radar, which provides drivers with a list of nearby ride requests. Drivers will be able to pick the rides they want from the list, and if Uber decides it’s a good match, it will give them the job. (An article from Uber says it will choose which drivers make their choices based on average wait times for drivers and riders.) Uber also says drivers will still get individual ride requests, but will be able to use trip radar to find “another trip that might work better for them”.