Starting this week, Uber drivers will be able to access a host of new features being rolled out by Uber to make their jobs easier. In a blog post published on June 6, Uber wrote, “[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.” Uber’s coders have been working on the programs for months to ensure that they perform as expected.
Drivers will now have the ability to stop new requests from coming in while they are finishing their last trip. The Uber app for drivers will also include a new feature called Driver Destinations, which will let drivers key in their destination twice a day and select riders that are on the drivers’ way. The app will also include a feature that allows the driver to check gas prices at nearby stations and search for cheaper options.
Pause Requests is another new feature being added to the Uber app. This allows drivers to take a break after dropping off their passengers without having to turn down ride requests. Drivers can hit pause to stop receiving new requests, then press the button again when back on duty.
Uber has also implemented a program that charges riders a fee for making their driver wait for an unreasonable amount of time. Passengers will start getting charged two minutes after their car arrives if they are not ready to go when the car pulls up. Drivers can now get paid by Uber whenever they wish through a GoBank Uber Debit Card. The company is also offering a discount program for its active drivers to give them cheaper rides once they are off the clock.
Uber has been facing driver anger over a series of measures implemented by the company to keep riders happy and company profits high. These measures have included cutting ride prices and taking larger commissions in certain markets. Travis Kalanick, the company’s chief executive officer, promised shareholders that Uber would become profitable in North America by the second quarter of this year. Uber was valued at nearly $68 billion after its latest investment round.
Uber is also currently facing a series of lawsuits from different groups. A group of 5,000 drivers in New York filed a lawsuit versus Uber at the beginning of June that accused the firm of wage theft. Uber also agreed to pay $100 million in April to settle complaints in California and Massachusetts over whether its drivers are employees or independent contractors.