Uber has today announced a powerful set of new features that will make it even easier for driver-partners in Uganda to choose when, where, and how they drive. Uber is doubling up on what’s made Uber the first choice for flexible opportunities and making it even better.

These new features follow the recent launch of Uber’s In-App Chat, a feature which allows driver-partners and riders to chat right in the Uber app without having to share their phone numbers with one another when they need to get in touch.

Aaron Tindiseega, Country Manager for Uber in Uganda explains, “We are always listening and engaging with driver-partners to ensure that we always improve and transform the driver experience. Drivers have been very clear on what they need and based on their responses, we will be rolling out products that can address three keys areas: more flexibility for drivers when it comes to when they want to use Uber, using our technology to create a stress-free experience, and building on safety.”

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To start, Uber will be launching a number of products that drivers have asked for:

  • Driver Share My Trip: Uber already offers a way for riders to share their trip status with their contacts, and so the Share My Trip feature now allows drivers to share the trip information with loved ones, without implicating the privacy of the rider or divulging personal information or specific drop off or pick up points.
  • Arrival Destination and Time: Drivers will now be able to set the time that they want to arrive at their final destination at any time of the day with the Arrival Time feature. As drivers go about their day with the destination and arrival time set, the app will notify them when it’s time to start heading toward their destination. At that time, they’ll be connected with a trip along the same path. This allows for more flexibility and allows them to make a little extra money on the way.
  • Long trip notification: Information will be sent to driver-partners to fit driving around their lifestyle, which means drivers will now get a heads-up when a trip is estimated to be 45 minutes or longer, so they can plan accordingly.
  • Rating protection: Sometimes riders might give their trip a low rating for reasons beyond a drivers control like an issue with the Uber App. With the new ratings policy, these type of ratings won’t count towards a driver’s score. Uber will still get the feedback to help them improve but it won’t impact the driver’s overall rating.
  • ‘No Thanks’ button: This new feature provides driver-partners the flexibility to turn down trips without worrying how it will affect their earnings. Currently, drivers can either confirm and take a trip request or wait for the request to timeout. However, with this new feature, the ‘no thanks’ button, drivers can decline the trip right away – it’s good news for riders too as the request gets passed on to another driver sooner meaning shorter waiting times for riders.

What does this mean for driver-partners? Tindiseega explains, “When Gladys Kakuba goes online to start accepting rider requests, she can use the “Share My Trip” feature to share her information about her trip with her husband such as where she is on the map. She is in control to start and stop sharing with her husband or other contacts as she’d like, and they can easily see her whereabouts on a map with quick-dial contact details and the driver’s license plate number.”

“Or take, for example, driver-partner Alfred Kasozi, who has three children and uses the Uber app to have more flexibility and control over his/her life. With the addition of the “No thanks” button, Alfred now has greater flexibility handling his trips as this feature provides the option to turn down trips immediately without worrying how it will affect his earnings. This is also good news for riders too as the request gets passed on to another driver sooner meaning shorter waiting times for riders.

“It has been our priority to continue building on our technology and our driver-partner offerings so that we provide driver-partners with the best experience while using Uber. We believe these new features will improve not only their driving experience but their lives.” concludes Tindiseega.

But this is only the start – by putting driver-partner concerns and dialogue at the heart of Uber’s strategy, Uber will continuously work on improving their experience with the app. This isn’t just about new features – it’s about a sustained commitment over time, and Uber is incredibly excited to apply the full strength of Uber to improve and transform the driver experience for the 1,000 men and women who drive with Uber every week.