Ride-hailing company Uber announced Tuesday (April 10) that it has completely overhauled the app for its drivers.
In a blog post announcing the redesign, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that drivers are the “heart” of the service, and that Uber lost sight of that along the way. “We focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible. We called drivers ‘partners,’ but didn’t always act like it. We needed to do better, and 180 Days of Change was the first step,” wrote the executive.
During the past six months, Khosrowshahi said Uber has launched close to 40 new features aimed at improving the driver experience. Still, he said that is just the beginning. “While 180 Days was about correcting missteps of the past, we also needed to think longer term, and the obvious place to start was the Driver app. It sits at the center of the driver experience, but after a redesign two years ago, it was already showing its age,” he noted.
While in the past, Uber would redesign the app based on what it thought drivers wanted and then hope for the best, the CEO said the company can’t afford to do the same this time around. As a result, Khosrowshahi said Uber used drivers’ input to help shape the new app. After the conversations and development phase, Uber launched a beta version and created a program to get feedback via ride-alongs and lunch meetups with drivers. The company has even communicated with drivers one-on-one to get their feedback.
“Drivers were generous with their feedback. Their opinions shaped the app for the better. They used features in ways we never expected and offered insights on how to improve their experience,” wrote Khosrowshahi. “Four months later, after over 100,000 trips, thousands of conversations and many bugs reported (and fixed!), we’re excited to share the product of our partnership: a new app built for drivers, with drivers – designed to meet their needs on every moment of their journey.”
One of the new features that should resonate with drivers is the real-time Earnings Tracker, which lets drivers know how much they earned on their last trip and enabling them to easily track progress toward their financial goals. There’s also a new Status Bar, which gives drivers real-time updates on local market conditions and provides opportunities for more trips in their area.