Even in the midst of its leadership change, Uber is putting its product first. On Monday, the ridesharing giant announced a series of new features that ought to please its (potentially dwindling) source of drivers. The latest changes, Uber says, are meant to improve the overall driver experience, and ought to “ensure control and peace of mind, helping to keep all driver-partners safe before, during, and after every trip.”
First and foremost, there’s the new Driver Share My Trip feature. While users have long been able to share their locations with friends and family members to ensure that someone always know where you are, drivers haven’t had the same luxury. Now, that’s all changing. On Tuesday, Uber switched on this feature for drivers in more than 140 cities around the world, and promised to roll the function out to all drivers by early fall.
Uber notes that this is a highly requested feature among drivers, who have expressed a desire “to be able to share their whereabouts with a friend or loved one when they’re out on the road.” Drivers can now start and stop sharing location route information with their contacts, and those they choose to share details with can see a driver’s position on a map, as well as quick-dial contact details and a license plate number.
Then, there’s the introduction of a new ID check in “several countries” that will require new passengers without an electronic payment method stored in the app to verify their identity via Facebook. This, Uber hopes, will further help guarantee the safety of drivers. And finally, the company is offering new insurance solutions, like Driver Injury Protection, which “provides benefits for lost income from disability, as well as survivor and accident medical benefits.” While this was initially announced earlier in the summer, the insurance has now become available to drivers in more than 30 states, and is said to be coming to drivers around the world.
So if you’re an Uber employee or contractor, everything seems to be business as usual. Because no matter who’s holding the CEO position, someone has to keep the wheels turning.
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