Category Archives for "Uber GPS and Navigation"
I don't think that there's any doubt that Uber sees us drivers as the weak link in their business model. They are looking forward to a future where they can eliminate us.
There's no point in resenting that. We have to accept that it's an inevitable part of the future.
A future where advances in technology eliminate the need for a driver, drastically reduce the road toll and bring congestion down to bearable levels.
Followed by Future 2.0, where autonomous flying cars eliminate the road toll, eliminate congestion, return the real estate currently consumed by roads to the public domain and, more than probably, eliminate private car ownership.
After all, why own a car when you can tap a destination on your smart phone and a few minutes later a vehicle drops out of the sky, you get in, it elevates to its assigned level and travels in a straight line to your destination while you listen to music, conference with your colleagues, face time with your friends or relax with a drink.
Guys, it's not that far off!
I used the new Uber Driver App for the first time this morning for 5 trips spread over 4 hours, for a total of $112.28.
Overall, I liked it, although as I indicated in the previous post, the differences are more superficial than substantial.
However, I believe that there has been a substantial rewrite of the underlying code.
That should make rolling out new features in the future easier, quicker and more reliable.
Two features that have been in overseas versions of the Uber Driver App for a long time, for example, are provision for tipping (which also requires an update to the Uber Rider App) and showing what your position is in an airport queue. Love to see both of those here soon!
Here are some screenshots of various aspects of the new Uber app, with my brief take on each one.
When you select the Driver App, you see a nice clean interface, with a GO button that you tap to go online.
An improvement on the previous slider.
We've published plenty of feedback here from drivers who've suffered from unsatisfactory Uber driver support.
So it's good to be able to report a positive experience.
My own, in this case.
This morning, I picked up one of my favourite fares, from Noosa to the Sunshine Coast airport.
It takes about half an hour. The first half on the very scenic coast road and the second half on a 100 km/hr motorway.
It normally pays around $42. Not bad for an easy half hour drive and I usually pick up a couple of extra rides on the way back.
Except that this time the fare came up as $24.32! In other words, a reduction of 43%. Not acceptable, Uber.
The first question to ask is "Does a good rating matter?"
And the answer is "Yes, it certainly does."
I've had many passengers comment favourably on my 4.98 star rating, so they have certainly noticed it when they've called for an Uber ride and I've responded.
I believe that it makes them less likely to cancel, more likely to be favourably disposed towards me before I even pick them up and therefore more likely to give me another 5 star rating.
And... When (If?) (a little information from Uber would be great here) we ever get the tipping option in Australia, I believe a good rating will increase the chances of being tipped.
Although this article is about what you should be doing to get and keep your good rating, the first exercise is to monitor your existing rating and delve a little deeper into where it's coming from.
So for starters, tap "RATINGS"at the bottom of the Uber Partner App display to see your STAR RATING, CONFIRMATION RATE and CANCELLATION RATE.
Make a note of your STAR RATING. It's calculated on your last 500 rated rides and it's the measure you're wanting to improve.
It's believed that Uber will consider removing drivers with a rating of less than 4.6. I don't know if this is true or not.
I've taken the start of this post from our sister site in the U.S. Their post was titled "3 ways to improve the Uber app".
I can't use the post as is for three reasons.
1. They mention things that are standard in the U.S. version of the Uber Partner App that we still don't have here! So already they become ways to improve the Uber Driver App here.
2. There are things they don't mention that I think could be improved, so I'm going to use this platform to request them.
3. They talk about Lyft, Uber's major competitor in the U.S. We really need to either see Lyft here in Australia or see one of the locals like SwyftRyd really take off.
While it’s not an increase in pay, a streamlined app with input from drivers could go a long way to improving the driver experience. Today, RSG contributor Jay Cradeur shares his perspective on Uber app improvements that would improve the driving experience, making it safer and and easier for drivers. Do you agree with these improvements or have suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments!
Recently I shared improvements I would like to see in the Lyft app. I focused on Lyft first, primarily because I drive for them and am most familiar with the Lyft app. However, in order to give a balanced perspective, I’ve been driving solely for Uber. This actually has been a pretty good thing, with a weekly return of $1,451.86.
I love voice guidance and always have it switched on. If I'm heading for an unfamiliar destination, it means I'm not continually flicking my eyes between the road and my phone and that's a big plus.
I don't pipe the voice guidance through the car's stereo. I have a playlist from my iPod playing through the stereo and my iPhone using its own speaker for voice navigation.
This means I can control the volumes independently.
I set the playlist volume for the whole car and the voice navigation for my ears only.
Now, with reference to the image at the left, wouldn't it be nice to be able to select the voice to be used for Uber navigation? Even if they can't spell Queen Elizabeth correctly?
Unfortunately, that's not the case.
We are stuck with the Aussie female voice that Uber has selected for its navigation app.
BUT... why are there two versions of the voice? And why does every update of the app seem to switch from one version to the other?
Has anyone else noted this?
Uber has announced that it will be releasing a new driver/partner app in the U.S. this year. It will take a few months to be rolled out to all Uber drivers in the U.S. with Android users in Los Angeles and Atlanta getting it first.
We don't know at this stage when we will be getting it in Australia. We'll try to find out but suspect that Uber itself doesn't know at this stage.
Partly, it will depend on feedback from the U.S. rollout, how many and what kind of problems are discovered and how much work is required to fix them.
But it's further complicated by the many differences that there are between versions, not only in different countries, but in different states or regions within the same country.
For instance, the tipping facility was rolled out across the U.S. in September 2017 and we were led to believe that it would be added to the Australian app by the end of that year. See our article Uber Australia: What's Next? published on 13/09/2017. Now it's April 2018 and there's never been another word about it.
This is probably the most common complaint among Australian Uber drivers.
Uber drivers in the U.S. frequently mention it as one of the reasons they prefer driving for Lyft, Uber's main competitor.
It's the reason I won't accept rides more than 10 minutes away. If it's in the wrong direction for me, I'll have to cancel the ride and that's something I'd prefer not to do.
When I first started driving for Uber, at the start of 2017, the partner/driver app always showed the address you were picking up from.
Then suddenly, after an update, it didn't any longer.
There are many things to like about Uber's navigation app.
I'll have a separate post on what I consider to be the ideal setup for music and navigation.