Aiming to make it easier for Uber drivers, the company has made big updates to its driver-facing app.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the new Uber navigation app includes an update to the iOS driver version of it and is completely new for the Android version of its navigation app. The upgrades to the app are designed to improve service by providing better routes to get from one location to the next and improve pickups, drop-offs and the driver experience, Uber Maps Product Team Lead Manik Gupta and Driver App Senior Product Manager Maya Choksi told TechCrunch.
Previously Uber used external mapping apps such as Google Maps and Waze to help drivers get to locations. The drivers would hit navigate on the app and would be sent directly to Waze or Google Maps or other routing apps.
“The goal for the new navigation experience is to provide drivers with the optimal driving experience for Uber specifically,” Choksi said in the report “Previously we had a hacked-together experience, using a combination of APIs to provide in-app navigation.”
In addition to making navigation easier, the new app also takes into account the average viewing distance for drivers and the app. The report noted drivers typically have their phones mounted at a distance that is roughly 3 feet from their faces, so Uber developed the app so that it can easily been seen at that distance. The app also includes routing to Uber-designed pickup points at airports and UberEATS parking spots at restaurants.
“You want to make sure you have all the information, when you need it, in context,” added Gupta in the report. With the new app, Uber’s aim isn’t to replace the navigation apps its drivers like to use — it’s more to make sure there are features available that are designed to be easy on the eye as drivers lodge hours driving people around at night.