Uber has introduced a pair of features it said are designed to provide more flexibility and opportunities for the company’s drivers.
According to a Friday (July 29) news release, the new features are known as Upfront Fares, which deals with the way drivers accept rides, and Trip Radar, which gives drivers more options for choosing rides.
Both features are unique to the ride-hailing company, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in the announcement.
“With Upfront Fares, we’ve completely reimagined the way drivers accept rides,” he said. “Our new trip request screen makes it easier for drivers to decide if a trip is worth their time and effort by providing all the details — including exactly how much they’ll earn and where they’re going — upfront.”
Khosrowshahi said the company piloted Upfront Fares in a handful of cities this year, and found that the experience improved for both drivers and riders, with higher rates of trip completion and reduced wait times. The company said it will expand this program to a majority of the U.S. in the coming months.
Trip Radar, meanwhile, lets drivers see a list of trips happening nearby. They’ll continue to get individual ride requests, but this new feature — set to expand with Upfront Fares in the next few months — lets them pick another trip that might better suit them, Khosrowshahi wrote.
Uber said it is also working with Mastercard, Branch and Marqeta on a new Uber Pro debit card and checking account designed to help drivers save on gas, fees, and other expenses. The card lets drivers get cash back when they use it to pay for gas, with up to 7% back for the company’s highest status drivers.
PYMNTS reported earlier this month that Uber had begun welcoming drivers to its Uber Eats Pro rewards program, which gives them the option to include options to access free tuition for the employee “or an eligible family member” at Arizona State University Online. Drivers using the Uber Visa Debit Card can also get car maintenance discounts with third-party partners and cash back for gas.
As PYMNTS noted at the time, it’s part of a broader trend of delivery companies offering new perks to drivers in an effort to combat labor shortages. In addition to the Uber offering, Instacart has recently rolled out “Cart Star,” a rewards program that offers things like priority access to customer orders and discounted child and senior care.