In the midst of issues the ride-hailing company is currently facing, Uber is pushing out a bevy of new features and perks in an effort to appease drivers.
The new changes include fines for riders who make drivers wait for too long; faster payment options; control over trip requests and more. And they might just make several Uber drivers happy.
"[W]e ... have heard from drivers like you that there are plenty of things we can do to make driving more empowering and worth your while," says Uber in a blogpost published on June 6. "[B]eginning today, we are rolling out a number of features and rewards in more cities to help you get the most out of your time on the road."
These new things come at a time when the group faces an array of lawsuits from different sectors. Earlier this month, a group of 5,000 drivers in New York filed a lawsuit versus Uber that accuses the company of wage theft.
In April, Uber also agreed to settle a complaint in California and Massachusetts for $100 million with drivers who wish to be deemed employees with benefits as opposed to being considered independent contractors.
New Driver-Friendly Features And Rewards To Expect
Here is a run-through of the new features and perks for Uber drivers:
1. Pause Requests — With the latest app update, drivers are now given the option to stop new requests from coming in while drivers are finishing their last trip. The feature is particularly designed for those who wish to log off the app upon dropping off their passenger if, for instance, they want to take a break or call it a day. Uber says that the company will push this feature out in several cities in the United States and in different parts of the globe.
2. Driver Destinations — This feature enables drivers to key in their destination twice a day. Uber will then send requests that are on the drivers' way. The company says that this tool is now being used in many cities in various regions of the world.
"This week, we'll expand it to over a dozen U.S. cities, with more cities launching globally soon," says the post.
3. Paying Drivers For Wait Times — Riders now pay drivers for wait times that exceed two minutes. Much like the other features, it has already been rolled out in some cities, with more launching very soon.
4. Instant Pay Option — Through a GoBank Uber Debit Card, drivers are now being paid as frequently as they want.
5. In-Person Assistance — Uber has also expanded its support centers to more than 250 in an aim to help drivers on their queries.
6. Ride Discounts — The company is also offering a discount program for its active drivers in a few cities. The program will give them cheaper rides once they are off the clock.
At any rate, these features and perks definitely put a smile on many Uber drivers' faces.
A report from Mashable, though, believes that while these new things Uber has thrown in to sweeten the pot are indeed a welcome treat for drivers, they "do little to offset the broader concern about Uber cutting ride prices and taking larger commissions in certain markets."