Uber has launched a couple of features aimed at improving driver experience and increasing transparency. A few months ago, the ride-hailing company began testing a feature called “Upfront Fares” in a few cities.
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It is now expanding its availability and will be available in most of the United States in the coming months. Drivers will be able to see how much they’ll earn and where they’re going for a trip on the request screen before accepting the booking once they have access to the features.
Uber calculates the amount shown using several factors, including “base fares, estimated trip length and duration, pickup distance, and surge pricing,” according to the Help page explaining how Upfront Fares work.
To assist drivers in making decisions, Uber will display the cross streets closest to the pick-up and drop-off points. In addition, Uber will expand the availability of “Trip Radar,” a feature that shows drivers a list of nearby potential trips, as well as Upfront Fares.
They will still receive individual trip requests, but they can now choose another booking that may be more suitable for them.
Uber is positioning these new features as a way to support its drivers, but as Axios points out, the impact on customers is unknown. If drivers view them as tools to avoid specific neighborhoods, they may be abused, leading to an increase in rider and trip discrimination.
However, because the features allow drivers to make a conscious decision when accepting trips, they may also prevent canceled trips.
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The company has also introduced a new Uber Pro debit card, which will allow drivers to earn cashback at select gas stations. Uber added a fuel surcharge to rides and deliveries in March to help drivers keep up with rising gas prices.