Despite the headlines today, Uber says it does not have plans to nix surge pricing in the U.S.
It did away with surge in Delhi, India, but has now reinstated the feature there as well.
An earlier report from NPR claimed Uber would be doing away with surge, a feature on the Uber app that bumps prices up in a particular area when there’s high demand for rides.
Surge pricing benefits drivers by helping them earn more cash from Uber. It also benefits the company by getting more drivers to a high demand area to service riders faster. So it really doesn’t make sense the ride-hailing company would get rid of the feature.
“Uber is always looking for ways to better predict supply and demand in a city. But this story is not accurate,” Uber told TechCrunch in a statement. “We have no plans to end dynamic pricing. While we understand that no-one likes to pay more for the same trip, it’s the only way to ensure that passengers can always get a ride when they need one.”
According to Uber, its engineering lead Jeff Schneider told NPR the surge works on a machine learning algorithm to predict areas more prone to driver demand and should get better over time, not that surge was ending.
Uber will likely get rid of surge at some point in the future as it deploys self-driving cars, but, for now, drivers can safely rely on that extra bump in pay.
NPR has since updated the story with an editor’s note at the bottom, including a transcript of the conversation where Schneider doesn’t correct the reporter when she mentions Uber getting rid of surge:
Shahani: So just note, Jeff from Uber is saying that machine learning will solve the problem and get rid of surge pricing.
Schneider: There we go!
Shahani: There we go, promise to customers.