There’s no doubt that Uber has made many of our lives more convenient, by enabling passengers to hail a ride via mobile app. But one of the biggest complaints passengers mention, over and over and over again, is that many Uber drivers don’t necessarily know the best route to their destination.
That’s a problem the company is looking to solve with the latest update to its mobile apps.
Uber’s passenger and driver apps will now simplify the way people get from Point A to Point B, first by enabling users to designate their destinations before being picked up. That will enable drivers to immediately know where passengers are going once they are picked up. However, they won’t be able to cherry pick only the best routes, as they won’t be shown their destination until after it’s confirmed that the passenger is in the car.
On the driver side, not only will they be able to see where passengers are going, but they’ll also be offered the ability to receive turn-by-turn navigation from directly within the app. That will eliminate the need for switching between multiple apps while a ride is in process, while also ensuring that passengers get where they’re going in an efficient manner.
The company has been slowly rolling out the feature to its passengers’ apps over the last few months, and it has been spotted in the wild by some users. Now after some testing, the feature is being made generally available to all.
An Uber representative says the company uses a combination of its own and third-party technology for turn-by-turn, ETA estimates, and map data. However, it’s clear that the company clearly has a huge amount of logistical and routing data that it’s collected over the years and can be utilized to help drivers get around quickly.
Adding destination and routing could also help Uber in its plan to launch shared rides between passengers. Last week, the company announced that it would soon release a product called UberPool, which would offer lower fares for users who were willing to share a car with another passenger. (Sidenote: Lyft basically launched the same thing the next day… difference is, Lyft’s version is actually available to San Francisco users.)
But to make UberPool work, the company would need the pickup and destination information from passengers who decided to use it. The company would also need to build routing information that took into account where those customers were both going.
It just so happens that these new features should also help regular Uber rides run more smoothly as well.