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Uber Aims to Boost UberPOOL in 2017

Uber Ties up With BBM Messenger on Ride Booking
(Image: Reuters)

Uber Ties up With BBM Messenger on Ride Booking (Image: Reuters)

Uber recently concluded the #SwitchToPOOL campaign, aimed at ‘getting more people in fewer cars’ in order to address the increasing congestion and pollution issues in India’s top cities.

Uber today announced that its big focus in 2017 will be on popularising UberPOOL, its offering that enables people going the same way at the same time to share their journey--bringing carpooling at the tap of a button.

Uber recently concluded the #SwitchToPOOL campaign, aimed at ‘getting more people in fewer cars’ in order to address the increasing congestion and pollution issues in India’s top cities.

In order to further accelerate adoption of UberPOOL, Uber has now rolled out a slew of technology innovations aimed at making uberPOOL even more reliable and convenient for riders.

The new updates address some of the common feedback from riders and driver-partners.

“For a country that considered car ownership as a status symbol, consumers are now much more open to sharing their vehicles. The growth in usage of uberPOOL is testament to this. Today, more than 31% of rides in Delhi are on UberPOOL and over 20% of the rides in the remaining five UberPOOL cities - Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Since the launch of UberPOOL in India, riders have taken more than a million trips and we are continuously working towards making the next million even more effortless, so we can get more people into fewer cars and help cities cut down on congestion and pollution over time,” said Mr Amit Jain, President - India and South Asia, Uber.

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Some product features rolled out are:

Faster Pickups: Quick pickups are critical to the uberPOOL experience, so Uber is working to minimise time spent waiting for riders.

High reliability: The latest driver app update includes the technology to inform drivers about their wait time before they get their next ride so he is ready when it is time to pick up the rider. The drivers can receive their next trip just before their current trip is over. Since often times a car ending a trip will get to the pick-up location much faster than the next closest car already available, a request is accepted by the car ending a trip instead means huge ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival of your Uber) savings for riders and partners alike.

Countdown Timer for Drivers: 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.

More control and clarity for drivers: Uber wants to give drivers more control over their experience, and as much clarity around uberPOOL earnings as possible.

Route Extension: Uber recently rolled out a feature that extends the driving route line on the driver 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.

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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 uberGO. So drivers will soon see the aggregated earnings for all legs of the uberPOOL trip, with a detailed breakdown for time, distance, and surge.

Pause Button: If a driver is looking to take a break he can hit the “Stop New Requests” button while on a trip which will temporarily make him ineligible for dispatches.

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, so Uber is trying to take this matchmaking to the next level.

Automatic Trip Upgrades: Uber has built technology that continues to look for better matches, even after an initial match has been made. If it finds a more convenient match for the user, the swap will be made automatically behind the scene.

Also read: Uber Takes Self-Driving Cars to Arizona After California Demands Permit

first published:January 05, 2017, 16:34 IST