Uber belatedly offers tipping as part of its renewed focus

The company sent an email to its contractors this morning promising a host of quality-of-life improvements.

After weeks of faulty course-correction punctuated with multiple board member resignations, Uber is fighting to win back public approval, starting with its drivers. The company sent an email to all its contractors today promising many overdue features to improve their quality of life, with more to follow in the next 180 days.

First and foremost, riders can finally tip their drivers -- at least in Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston starting today, which Uber promises to roll out nationwide by the end of July. Cancellation fees now trigger after two minutes, down from five, and drivers will now get paid to wait for passengers after two minutes of waiting. Drivers also get a $2 bump to the base fare for teen riders, assumedly to make up for having to drive teen riders anywhere. Uber's also set up optional injury protection insurance and bumped up the per-mile rate to ostensibly make up for the cost.

Drivers are encouraged to restart their Uber apps to see if their area has been rolled into these improvements, which are expanding to all US cities on an undisclosed schedule. This is just the first batch in a series of additions to come once a month for the next 180 days, Uber's mea culpa states, concluding that we should "Look out for the next round of improvements in July."