Uber today announced a powerful set of new features on the app that will make it even easier for driver-partners across Nigeria to choose when, where, and how they drive. Driver-partners in Nigeria choose to drive with Uber because they can use the app on their own terms. With these new features, Uber is doubling up on what’s made Uber the first choice for flexible opportunities and making it even better.
These new features follow the recent launch of Uber’s In-App Chat, a feature which allows driver-partners and riders to chat right in the Uber app without having to share their phone numbers with one another when they need to get in touch.
Lola Kassim, General Manager for Uber West Africa explains, “Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with over 7000 driver-partners across Nigeria, hearing what they need from the Uber app so that we can improve and transform the driver experience. We are thrilled about the feedback we received as driver-partners have been very clear on what they need. Based on their responses, we will be rolling out products that can address three keys areas: more flexibility for drivers when it comes to when they want to use Uber, using Uber technology to create a stress-free experience, and building on safety.”
To start, Uber will be launching a number of products that drivers have asked for:
Driver Share My Trip: Uber already offers a way for riders to share their trip status with their contacts, and so the Share My Trip feature now allows drivers to share the trip information with loved ones, without implicating the privacy of the rider or divulging personal information or specific drop off or pick up points.
Arrival Destination & Time: Drivers will now be able to set the time that they want to arrive at their final destination at any time of the day with the Arrival Time feature. As drivers go about their day with the destination and arrival time set, the app will notify them when it’s time to start heading toward their destination. At that time, they’ll be connected with a trip along the same path. This allows for more flexibility and allows them to make a little extra money on the way.
Long trip notification: Information will be sent to driver-partners to fit driving around their lifestyle, which means drivers will now get a heads-up when a trip is estimated to be 45 minutes or longer, so they can plan accordingly.
Rating protection: Sometimes riders might give their trip a low rating for reasons beyond a drivers control like an issue with the Uber App. With the new ratings policy, these type of ratings won’t count towards a drivers score. Uber will still get the feedback to help them improve but it won’t impact the driver’s overall rating.
What does this mean for driver-partners? Kassim explains, “When Chinonyerem goes online to start accepting rider requests, he can use the “Share My Trip” feature to share his information about his trip with his wife such as where he is on the map. He is in control to start and stop sharing with his wife or other contacts as he’d like, and she can easily see his whereabouts on a map with quick-dial contact details and his license plate number.”
“Or take, for example, driver-partner Adekunle, who has been driving for quite some time that day and wants to end his time on the Uber app in the next hour so. “Long trip notification” allows for him to know in advance if the next trip will be more than 45 minutes so that he can choose to accept it or it goes to the next available driver, allowing him to go home when he needs to.”
“Drivers play a key role in defining Uber’s future and we want them to know that we are committed to ensuring the app works best for them first. We believe these new features will create meaningful changes to their lives and driving experience,” concludes Kassim.
But this is only the start – by putting driver-partner concerns and dialogue at the heart of Uber’s strategy, Uber will continuously work on improving their experience with the app. This isn’t just about new features – it’s about a sustained commitment over time, and Uber is incredibly excited to apply the full strength of Uber to improve and transform the driver experience for the 7000 men and women who drive with Uber every week.