London’s favourite ride hailing app, Uber, has had a few updates in 2019. One of these an update on the Drivers App, and could be a love it or hate it feature for riders, although drivers will most likely find this addition a welcome and overdue feature.
Uber Drivers will now be able to see the destination of a desired journey before they accept the job. Well the postcode at least. In the past, drivers would have not been able to see the destination of the journey or which direction it would take them. With far less control , they only had the choice of directions function once or twice a day to get journeys to a specific direction, mainly used by drivers at the end of their shift.
But being able to see the journey before accepting the job could be a revolution, although some might think it could be a pain for those who live further out. We’ll examine the pluses and minuses of this update in more depth.
Upfront destinations: the benefits
As a rider, if you’ve ever been waiting for your Uber only to find it gets cancelled, this update could potentially make this a thing of the past. The reason your journey might have got cancelled is because the Uber driver accepted the job and realised the destination was somewhere they didn’t want to go. Perhaps it was too far, or maybe it was outside of their ideal zone of operation.
The update is referred to as ‘upfront destinations’ and for Uber drivers, it could mean more control over your work and more transparency. With some drivers preferring multiple short trips, or to focus on a specific area, and others liking longer journeys, it means drivers can pick and choose the jobs they want depending on their modus operandi.
Another reason why upfront destinations is a great update for drivers is that it allows them to avoid areas such as the congestion charge zones of central London. For example if your patch is West London, you might not have the need to pay the congestion charge. But then suddenly you get a call for a drop off in Soho, and now you need to remember to pay your £11.50 charge or suffer a stiff fine.
Some drivers also prefer to avoid heading to the airports, with the extra time taken to head out of town, potential for being stuck in traffic and needing to be sure your tank is full for the journey. Again, being aware of the destination before accepting helps, although of course you’ll need to know the postcodes before hand!
So now, with the Uber drivers app update now allowing drivers to see your destination postcode before accepting the ride, there should be no excuses for cancelled rides.
Upfront destinations: the cons
For riders, the argument is that long journeys or far flung suburbs might be less appealing to the drivers and so their journey has less chance of being picked up. So for example, if you’re thinking of going from central London to somewhere like Barnet on a Saturday night, you might find it a while before you job gets accepted.
In fact, on some Uber forums, drivers do openly state that they wouldn’t accept jobs going to certain postcodes, for example Croydon or Bromley. But is this really going to be a problem in bigger cities like London, Bristol, Manchester or Glasgow? With multiple ride sharing services now available, and more and more drivers signing up, the problems with finding a ride could be hugely exaggerated. In fact, it’s more likely that it might take you a little longer to find a driver accepting your ride, but you will still get home. Eventually.
Whats the expert opinion?
Most drivers think that the update is going to be beneficial for both parties. Drivers no longer need to find themselves going out of their way, and riders are more likely to find a driver who is happy to take them. So, less chance of cancellations.
Although if you live in a far flung suburb like Barnet, Croydon or Bromley you might just disagree.
Price estimates for drivers
In addition to the upfront destinations, drivers can now also see an estimate of the fare in the app before accepting the job. So, even if you’re thinking of avoiding a specific area, perhaps this could redress the balance. The price estimate has been available to riders since day one, but for drivers this is a new addition for 2019 in a recent Uber drivers app update.
We think the Uber drivers update 2019 is a great addition to the service and one that we think will endear Uber to drivers and riders alike. Especially as more ride hailing services become available in London and across the UK.