UberPool is trying to speed up your shared rides

Posted on Dec 13 2016 - 5:29am by Huzoor Bux



Uber wants your shared rides to move faster.

Image: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Uber’s carpool system, UberPool, is so enticing. You pick your location, share your ride with a stranger or two, and reach your destination for way cheaper. 

But then you get in the car and find yourself being driven so many blocks in the opposite direction just to wait, while double-parked, for your fellow rider to get out of their damn house already. 

To prevent this frustrating scenario, the ride-hailing company announced some new features on Monday.

The first addition is notifications for riders, which pretty much serve as a nagging friend telling you that you’re running late and need to hurry up. The notifications will push updates to your phone about the car’s status, like when it’s pulling up and when it’s outside. 

Uber has long said it wants riders to be ready on the curb when the car pulls up, but over the past two years of offering shared rides, “we’ve not done a great job at communicating that,” the company said in a post.

A timer will hopefully speed things up.

A timer will hopefully speed things up.

On the driver side, an actual two-minute timer will count down, so you have to hurry up for real. Sure, the app has always said you have two minutes to get in the car, but nobody ever strictly followed that guideline. 

Now it’ll be more like Lyft Line (which only gives riders one frantic minute to hustle into the vehicle), with the driver able to tap the timer and after hitting the two-minute mark, marking your would-be fellow passenger as a no-show, charging them a fee and moving you right along. 

The company is also adding automatic “match” upgrades — meaning if they find a rider that is a better match for your route, their technology will make that happen, even if you are already matched with someone. 

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