Tag Archives for " Uber Driver "

US Drivers Finding Uber Unsustainable

This article was originally reported in the Washington Post and while it raises real and serious concerns about rideshare driving, its conclusions apply specifically to the United States and even more specifically to Washington, D.C.

What do you think? Is this exclusively an American concern? What about where you drive? Let us know in the comments if you are concerned about any of these things where you drive.

Safety Concerns

Uber Driver Safety Concerns

A Georgetown University study of 40 Uber drivers in the D.C. region released Thursday found some thought the work “unsustainable,” with one-third reporting assaults or safety concerns and saying they went into debt to drive on the platform.

Based on interviews conducted in 2016, the study found 30 percent of the drivers were concerned about their safety. One driver told researchers of being robbed at gunpoint; another said he was assaulted after turning down drugs from a passenger.

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I’m No Longer Driving for Uber. Here’s Why:

1. It's Very Expensive

Uber Driver Major Expenses

I found this out when a number of things happened at once.

First, I had a major repair expense, enough to wipe out all my Uber income for the past 5 months!

The major component that failed caused my car to stop as it came off the motorway while delivering two passengers to the airport.

Fortunately, I was able to flag down another Uber driver on his way to the airport and he was able to add my passengers to his. So at least my passengers caught their flight.

Component Failure

Was Uber driving the cause of the failure?

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Hidden Opportunities for Uber Drivers

While waiting for me to do the next lot of FAQs, here are some ways of using the time spent waiting for your next ride.

Uber Driving

We drive mostly to make money: We drive, we earn, we drive, and we earn. But there’s quite a few things that are really golden opportunities that we have because of all that time that we’re spending in the car.

Ongoing Education

The first hidden opportunity is ongoing education. We spend a lot of time in the car, and with the invention of podcasts, it’s amazing how much new stuff we can learn. Whether you want to learn about pig hunting, you want to learn about how your mind works, about meditation, you want to learn about MMA fighting, you want to learn about peak performance, you want to learn about the Paleo or Keto diet.

If you do 20 rides a day, and in between the rides you have 5 minutes, that’s like 100 extra minutes that you have where you can be listening to podcasts when your passengers aren’t in the car.

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Uber Driverless Cars

Autonomous Ubers: It's a Question of When, Not If

Uber Driverless Car

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!

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Analyse and Protect Your Uber Driver Rating

Uber Driver App Ratings Summary

The previous version of the Uber Driver App showed you your rating, but not how it was calculated.

So you had no idea of how many different star ratings you had and so no idea of how vulnerable you were.

The new Uber Driver App gives you this detail.

Tap your profile image in the upper right corner of the main screen. You'll see three buttons, labelled Earnings, Profile and Account.

The Profile button will have your picture above, along with your current rating. Tap it and it will show you your image and rating again, plus your total number of trips and how long you've been an Uber driver.

You can also click the Add Details button to add more personal details that your riders can access if they wish to do so.

Click the rating itself underneath your image to see the breakdown of individual ratings. Your current Uber Driver rating is calculated from your last 500 rated trips.

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Using the New Uber Driver App Part 1

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.

Uber Driver App 000

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.








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New Uber Driver App

New Uber Driver App

Although I'm not doing any Uber driving today, I turned the driver app on to check out something else and discovered I'd been updated to the new Uber driver app overnight.

A quick browse through highlighted some obvious differences, though they seemed to me more along the lines of appearance than significant changes or new features.

At a glance, I couldn't find my 4.99 rating, so I'll be very upset if that's disappeared, along with passenger compliments.

I can't imagine that would be so as it would clearly upset everybody.

I'm planning to do some Uber driving tomorrow, so I'll explore the app thoroughly in the real world and report back on it.

The biggest improvement to me would be if navigation worked properly all the time.

Anyone with experience of the new Uber driver app is invited to leave their comments below.

Thanks.

More Uber Driver FAQs

A Recent Email

We received this email from a new driver recently and thought others might benefit from the questions and answers.


G’day Phil and Sam,

Thanks for all the helpful hints.

Being a relatively new Uber boy on the block, around 6 weeks on the Sunshine Coast – south end – I have some questions that I am hoping you can answer for me:

  • The Sticky Uber signs are not very sticky and keep falling down. Any suggestions?
  • How does the “call centre” work. When you get a ping, are other Uber drivers getting the same ping or is it just you?
  • I dropped a rider off at Mooloolaba last weekend. A guy was just standing there and sat down and said could I take him to Sippy Downs. I said yes but you will need to book the ride. He booked the ride and it was accepted by another nearby Uber Driver so he cancelled. It then came up on my phone and I accepted it. How does that happen?
  • The Uber GPS system could be improved.
  • I was in Mooloolaba this morning and for 30 minutes I kept seeing the message: “You are in a busy area, expect trips soon!” I got nothing! WTF?
  • How do I register to pick up riders at Sunshine Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport after doing drop off’s?

Guys, I hope you can help.

Many thanks and much appreciated.


Hi,

Answering in order.

  1. I just leave mine on all the time and don’t have any problem. Just contact Uber and ask them to send you new ones.
  2. By Call Centre, do you mean Uber help? If so, call 1300 091 272, work through the menu and you’ll get onto someone to ask. They’re not on deck until 10:00am though.
  3. Presumably because the GPS doesn’t measure time and distance all that accurately. Exactly the same thing happened to me (just once) in the Maroochydore Plaza shopping centre car park. The rider was sitting in the passenger seat at the time!
  4. The Uber nav drives me mad. Often, it works perfectly, but other times it just freezes up or reverts to directions from an earlier ride. You can sometimes fix it by exiting the driver app, turning your phone off and on again and then reloading the driver app.
  5. This is a recent feature and probably still buggy. Maybe it’s only looking at the number of riders, rather than the balance of riders and drivers. It can be useful to have a look at the rider app. If you see yourself centred on screen and surrounded by other drivers, it might be worthwhile moving so that you’re outside them and at least covering one quadrant.
  6. For Sunshine Coast airport, no registration is required. If the Uber driver app is on, you are automatically placed in the queue. Drop off and pickup just like a taxi or a private vehicle. If you want to park and wait for an incoming flight, you can do so by turning left at the big roundabout as you come into the airport. Street parking is free and there’s a great little coffee shop in Cessna Avenue.

    For Brisbane airport, you have to register your e-tag and there are designated pickup and wait zones. You can get all the information at https://pages.et.uber.com/ANZAirportStep1.

Regards

Phil

A Follow-Up Email

Phil,

Many thanks.

In respect to Point 2, I should have been a little clearer. When you get a job or a ping, are you the only one the signal goes to? Or does it go to 2 or 3 drivers and the first one to responds gets the job?

Also, in terms of getting a return trip to Noosa from the Sunshine Coast Airport, do you simply wait for the next arrival to see if you get a job – and what are the percentages of getting a job?

Many thanks,


Hi,

You’re the only one getting the ping. If you decline it (or fail to accept it) then it goes to the next closest driver.

I check the airport website for arrivals and factor in the 20-30 minutes between a plane arriving and the passengers collecting their luggage. I really dislike waiting, so I’ll only do so if the plane has already landed. That said, your chances of getting a job are fairly high. From my experience, around 80%. Of course, you don’t know whether they’re heading North or South until you start the ride, so it won’t necessarily be in the direction of home!

And unfortunately you can't use the option to get trips towards a destination (such as home) while you're in the airport queue.

Cheers

Phil

Uber Driver Support: A Positive Experience

Uber Driver Support

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.

Uber Fare Lower than Usual

Except that this time the fare came up as $24.32! In other words, a reduction of 43%. Not acceptable, Uber.

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Uber Driver FAQs 1 – 5

When a reader posts a question or a comment on the site, everyone has the chance to read it and hopefully benefit from it.

Some of our subscribers prefer to email us direct.

Which is fine of course and we always reply but it does mean that no one else gets the benefit.

So this article is a collection of questions and answers from some of those emails, but without the individual subscribers being identified.

Who knows, maybe a question you've been wondering about is answered here!

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