Jul 29, 2022 - Economy

Uber expands trip transparency for drivers

hand holding uber phone in front of steering wheel

Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

More Uber drivers in the U.S. will start to see their fares and routes before accepting rides, Uber said today as part of a larger announcement.

Why it matters: The company has tried to improve driver support in face of increased competition for gig workers and criticism for not providing enough support to drivers.

Details: Upfront Fares, as Uber calls the feature, began to roll out earlier this year.

  • Trip Radar is also a newer feature that shows drivers a list of other trip requests nearby that they can accept. Previously, the app had only sent one trip request to drivers at a time.
  • Uber has also partnered with MasterCard and others on a new debit card and checking account aimed at helping drivers save on gas and fees through cash back incentives.
  • Top drivers will also be recognized through a new program that rewards them with annual cash bonuses.

The big picture: Drivers are more crucial than ever before to Uber's goals of being able to deliver just about anything to anyone.

  • “[W]e’re bringing new drivers on, not as Uber Rides, not as Uber Eats, but as Uber as a platform and to earn in any way, shape or form that they can on the platform,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said earlier this year.

Yes, but: Customer impact is yet unclear.

  • Risk of rider and trip discrimination, for example, could increase if drivers decide they want to avoid certain neighborhoods.
  • In earlier experiments, Uber found the features harmful to its business.
  • Axios has reached out to Uber for comment.

What to watch: Uber is set to report second quarter earnings next Tuesday.

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