San Francisco-based ridesharing app Uber today announced that riders will now be able to update their pickup location after they have requested for a ride. This means that riders can now conveniently redirect their driver partner to the correct location through the app, even when the driver is en-route.
In their press note, the company said that this facility is now available to every rider in India. The note also stated that the feature has been launched pan-India after a pilot run in a few cities. The team found that this led to fewer cancellations.
Ryan Yu, software engineer, and Rachel Hold, Regional General Manager, US and Canada, said on the Uber blog that pick-ups are one of the hardest parts of the experience to get right, and they’re especially difficult when riders accidentally request a pickup from the wrong place. It often begins with a phone call and ends with a cancelled ride. A small miscue can lead to a frustrating situation where riders aren’t riding, and drivers aren’t earning.
So now, once the driver is en-route, the rider has the option of editing the next pickup location, entering a new address, and confirming the same. In turn, the drivers will be notified of the new location and have their route updated. The press note however added that the experience will vary slightly for in-app and out-of-app navigation.
Since Uber’s China exit, the San Francisco-based giant has been bullish and pretty aggressive about the Indian market. From last year, the cab aggregator has been pushing into the market with cheaper rides and more offers, while aggressively adding more drivers, and it even launched Uber Hire, opened up UberMOTO operations in Telengana, and just a few days back, started UberEATS, launching with Mumbai.
However, from the beginning of this year, the ride-hailing company has been in the eye of the storm. From the #deleteUber campaign to sexual harassment rows to senior management quitting, Uber has had its hands full. Now, Uber’s biggest rival Didi has raised $5.5 billion, with a focus on the global market. And, closer home in India, Uber recently fought a regulatory battle for its pool services, and now, drivers of both Ola and Uber are disappointed with the slash in their incentives.
In India, Uber is still second fiddle, present in over 30 cities, while its competition, Ola, is present across 100 and claims to have close to 65 percent of the market share. Ola also raised funding to the tune of $350 million from Softbank, and more recently raised $100 million from Falcon Edge and Ratan Tata’s Trust Fund. Ola and Uber have locked horns more strongly over the last year, and the former has been trying to build an edge over Uber with differentiators like Ola Play and Ola Select.
In the meantime, Uber too is looking at India with a strong and single-minded focus. The team believes that technology will be their driving factor, and have over the last year been pushing technological changes in India faster than they had in the past.
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