Going My Way? A new Uber feature allows drivers the ability to set a destination and pick up riders headed in that same direction.
Drivers traveling across town or to and from places like Palo Alto back up to San Francisco had to pick up rides near them with no guarantee they’d get another rider going back to where they came from. That caused a lot of consternation among drivers who had to eat the miles just to get back home.
The new feature allows drivers to set a destination, and Uber will then filter requests so only those going in that direction will be shown as possible fares. This applies to destinations across town as well as outside San Francisco proper, including San Jose, Berkeley and Marin and works with UberPOOL, UberX, Uber’s SELECT service, too.
It’s interesting to note that rideshare platform Sidecar allowed its own drivers the ability to set a destination a while ago. It was the only service to do this for its drivers at the time. Lyft started offering this ability to its drivers a year ago.
Here’s how it works for Uber drivers, according to a company post announcing the new ability for drivers to set their destination:
1. Tap <icon: clipboard> in the top corner of the app
2. Select a saved location or search for a new address
3. Start driving toward the destination—Uber will automatically filter requests for trips along the way
Uber’s driver partners only have the option to set their destination twice per day. The feature is ideal for the part-time drivers looking to earn money on the side as they go about running errands or picking up the kids.
“Whether it’s commuting to the areas where rides are needed most, driving back home at the end of the day, or running errands around town, drivers can set their destination to earn fares that are along their route,” Uber said about the new feature.
This ability to set a destination offers part-time drivers or those who only want to earn a few bucks on the way to somewhere they were already going, to stay in the city after the ride instead of taking someone way out of where they intended to go before. While that might make it more difficult for those looking to hitch a ride from Marin to Mountain View, it creates a better experience for Uber drivers, the majority of whom drive part-time with the service and use it as a way to supplement income on top of other jobs.
The new feature is only available to drivers in Silicon Valley for now, but the plan is to roll it out internationally, especially in China where Uber faces stiff competition from Didi Kuaidi and other similar ridesharing services, as soon as possible.