Uber is reportedly rolling out a brand new feature this week that will allow users to reserve their planned rides for up to 30 days in advance as well as choose their favorite driver to complete the trip. This is one of Uber's way to attract new customers as well as keep the old ones during this current COVID-19 pandemic.

New Uber feature: Better planned trips

According to an article by TechCrunch, this brand new option is called the Uber Reserve, which is said to land on the popular ride-hailing app some time next week. This feature is particularly designed for the users wanting to book a ride at least about two hours in advance. Uber has stated that it will keep the app's current "schedule a ride" option especially for those trips that all fall under the two hour window in advance.

According to the operations lead at Uber, Holley Beasley, this will help users save time by taking the idea to a whole new level. This feature is said to work more flexibly around their users' lives.

How the new Uber feature will benefit drivers and users

Riders who will use the Reserve feature showing their expected fare upfront and also be matched to a driver even before the trip. The company has also added this feature to the "favorite driver" option. Riders are now able to add their favorite drivers on the given app. The favorite drivers will then be offered the possible Uber user first. Uber has also stated that drivers will receive no penalties for deciding not to take the given trip.

The popular ride-hailing company then added in two more perks. One includes an additional 15-minute grace period should the rider run late and also give an on-time guarantee that will compensate should Uber users experience delays. It was stated that $50 in Uber Cash will be given as compensation to those Uber users and will come straight from the company and not the driver's own earnings.

Uber then stated that it also added another protection for their drivers as well. If a certain Reserve ride is cancelled just within an hour of the whole trip, the driver will then receive an entire fare, according to an article by The Verge.

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A counter-COVID strategy

This feature started development even before the start of COVID-19, according to Uber's product manager known as Geoff Tam-Scott. However, the company has already noticed that its own existing scheduling feature was already being used even more frequently as a lot of COVID-19 bookings took hold. 

During late spring, Tam-Scott added that they will be all hands on deck in trying to accelerate the development of the new feature. Uber Reserve stated that it will initially launch in 20 different US cities and is said to start rolling out for the premium Uber Black as well as the Black SUV rides.

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Written by Urian Buenconsejo

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