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Uber alerts drivers to distracted ‘Pokémon Go’ players and advises how to make money

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Who can count all the ways Pokémon Go has impacted people? One impact no one wants, however, is for a distracted player to be hit by or walk into a car. Ride-hailing giant Uber put out a message about the augmented reality game on its Newsroom for Drivers blog entitled “How Pokémon Go May Affect Your Life as a Driver.”

The first part of the message is an overview of what the game is about, how it superimposes CGI images on the real world, and why players move to real locations to find Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms. Uber wants its driver to be aware of the game for safety’s sake and to help Uber riders have a good time.

It’s imperative that Uber drivers be on the lookout for Pokémon Go players, both pedestrians and other drivers who may have their heads down, distracted while playing the game, says the company. Drivers are exhorted to heighten their awareness to avoid collisions.

There’s also a chance for Pokémon Go-aware Uber drivers to make money, the company says. Drivers who learn the Pokéstop and gym locations in their area can consider waiting near those locations to provide rides to players who want to go the next hot spot.

The company suggests drivers play the game on their own phones to become familiar with it. Once they know a bit about Pokémon Go, it can serve as a conversational topic with riders and also help drivers get a sense of the urgency players sometimes experience.

The last note from Uber to its drivers is that if they do download and start playing Pokémon Go, that they remember to stay alert themselves and pay attention to where they’re going.

It will be interesting to see if popular Pokémon gyms and Pokéstops end up generating surge pricing, as often happens when special events start or end.

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