Uber has rolled out updates for its driver and rider apps that should make pickups go more smoothly. Drivers can see what side of the street the rider is on, rather than the pin landing on the middle of the road or the wrong side. That should help drivers avoid wasting time by, for instance, having to loop around the block to reach the rider.
Drivers will also see a more descriptive label that explains where the rider is with extra context. It might read “Pickup near Starbucks at 100 Market St” instead of “Pickup on 100 Market St,” according to Uber.
This update will also take into account situations where someone requests a ride while they're on their way to a planned pickup spot. "Even if the rider moves a little bit after requesting the trip, we will be able to distinguish between the two and make it easier for the driver to get to the rider’s pickup location," Sachin Kansal, Uber's vice president of product, in a blog post.
Meanwhile, once a trip's underway, drivers will be able to choose from up to three routes, and they can select the best option based on time and distance, Kansal said. The company is also developing a traffic-based rerouting system with the aim of predicting heavy traffic and helping drivers avoid congested routes.
These are welcome quality of life upgrades that should improve navigation and reduce frustration for both drivers and riders if they work as promised. If the features can help drivers complete rides faster, perhaps that'll help Uber better meet increased demand and bring prices back down.