The ride-sharing company announced new ways to make pickups smoother.
Finding your Uber can drive you crazy.
If you’ve ever looked for your Uber at a crowded intersection, you’ll know that finding it — why do so many drivers own black or blue cars? — isn’t always easy. So Uber has announced two new features that can make that process significantly easier.
The first is a feature called Spotlight, which allows a driver to more easily see your phone when you hold it up. “With Spotlight, you can light up your phone with a special color specific to your driver. Your driver will receive a message telling them what color to look for, so you can just hold your phone in the air,” Uber announced.
You can also now more easily message your driver with more information about you ahead of pickup. “Now it’s even easier to share a tip (“I’m wearing a red jacket”), or send your driver a quick pre-populated update like ‘be right there’ with a single tap. We designed Pickup Messages to encourage safe driving: your messages are read aloud, and drivers can simply tap to respond,” the company notes.
Finally, the company will now guarantee that when you schedule a pickup, it will come on time or you’ll get your money back. “Our on-time guarantee means your scheduled ride will arrive during the time period you select, or we’ll give you Uber credit towards your next ride,” the company says.
Though Uber has had a slew of problems in recent years and racked up net losses of $4.5 billion in 2017, consumers still flock to the ride-sharing app. Uber boasted 70% of the ride-hailing market share in the U.S. as of the fourth quarter of 2017; it also has rapid sales growth, with an annual growth rate of roughly 90% from 2016 to 2017.
Meanwhile, rival ride-hailing service Lyft is also peddling some interesting innovations — and on two wheels. It recently acquired Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in North America. The company says that in doing so, it hopes to “put bike-share systems across the country on a path toward growth and innovation” with the goal of “reducing the need for personal car ownership.” It also launched a new version of its app in June with a bigger push towards shared rides, better integration with public transportation, suggestions for more practical drop-off and pick-up locations and a simpler interface that offers “a ‘one tap to ride’ feature so you can quickly request your most frequent ride types and destinations.”
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