The other day I was requesting a an Uber to a pretty far location, completely out of the way. And I realized almost every Uber driver was cancelling my request.
Which got me wondering, do Uber drivers see your destination before accepting?
Do Uber Drivers See Your Destination?
Historically, Uber drivers were not able to see the destination of their riders until they’d responded to and accepted the ride request. However, in different locations around the globe pressure increased for Uber to allow their drivers a little more control over this process. This means that now (in most rideshare locations which use Uber), drivers have access to the destination of your ride request before they accept the job.
This article takes a look at the availability of rider information for Uber drivers: what they used to see, how it changed, and what this means for drivers and riders.
Why Couldn’t Uber Drivers See The Rider’s Destination?
Uber never gave their drivers access to rider destinations because they feared that drivers would cancel ride requests if they weren’t comfortable with the requested end destinations or with the length of the rides.
A typical example is a rider who requests an extremely short ride so as to avoid bad weather, or airport trips when the traveller’s accommodation is situated very close to the airport. In these cases, drivers know they will only pick up small fares.
Those drivers who preferred short rides (and would have liked to avoid the longer ride requests) were also unable to control this aspect of their service.
What Uber did allow to happen, however, was that when a driver received a long trip request, they also received a “warning” (generated by the Uber platform), that the trip was expected to take 45 minutes or more in time. Precise details as to the length of the trip was not given until the request was accepted.
Drivers could then refuse the request without penalty or accept the request as willing to invest in the extra time and distance required. The process looks a little like this:
- When a driver is ready to drive, they tap ‘go’, and the app will start looking for requests from riders near them.
- The driver receives a request (and a ‘long ride’ notification if applicable). Only if a driver has an Uber Pro Gold status, can they see further details of the ride.
- Driver accepts or refuses the request.
- If accepted, rivers can navigate to their rider any way they choose. The Driver app offers navigation as an option.
- Once a rider has been picked up, the driver slides the start trip button. At this point, the driver will see the full details of the destination and distance and can navigate to the destination any way they or your rider want.
- When the destination is reached, the driver slides the complete trip button.
Can Uber Drivers Now See The Rider’s Destination?
Back in 2021, Uber at one stage allowed Uber drivers in The US (in the state of California) the ability to see their passenger’s destination before picking up and accepting a job. However, this change to the app was short-lived, and Uber returned to the previous model.
After that, many Uber drivers (in many countries) are becoming increasingly demanding over the desire to see the final destination of a trip before accepting a job.
Then in July 2022, Uber in India announced that ‘its drivers would be able to see the final destination of the passenger before they accept the ride’.
It was reported that Uber felt that this feature would hopefully cut down on trip cancellation post-booking of the trip, and that the move would ‘enhance transparency’ and ‘reduce driver frustration’.
The move follows feedback that the ride-hailing app received from its National Driver Advisory Council which was launched in March 2022 to facilitate a two-way dialogue between Uber and drivers across six metro cities to address key issues.
Also, in the US, Uber announced that ‘Drivers across the U.S. will be able to see exactly how much they will earn and where they will be going before they accept a trip.’
This was very welcome news to Uber drivers who have been doing it hard for a number of years.
Uber also added a surcharge on fares and deliveries in March in an effort to help offset rising fuel prices, hoping that these new additions to the driver platform may help the company keep existing drivers and attract new ones.
Is It Better That Uber Drivers Can See Your Destination?
Uber drivers overall seem to have wanted the ability to view rider destinations before accepting requests for a long time. Drivers reported that the feature gave them better control over their schedules, was much safer, more transparent, and allowed them to give better customer service.
Drivers, when faced with an unexpectedly lengthy ride appeal cannot always comply. There are many justifiable reasons for this, including schedule conflicts, personal safety, private commitments, and financial reasons.
Drivers do not enjoy having to cancel a ride request after having accepted one and the rider is already in the car. Dealing with customer frustration (and even aggression) should not be part of anyone’s day.
The more transparent model allows drivers to refuse rides immediately, leaving the request uninterrupted and open for another driver who, forewarned, is prepared to accept the greater (or shorter) distance.
Riders know that when their ride request is accepted, the driver knows exactly what is going on and will have no need to cancel the ride.
This means that riders will at times be left without a ride, a common problem anyway when demand is high. However, there are always solutions available, even if the destination, the time, and even the rideshare company, needs to be altered.
Uber drivers once had no idea of the destination of your ride request unless they held a certain driver status or your ride was lengthy, and the driver received a vague warning that the upcoming drive might take some time.
Currently, however, Uber, in most parts of the world, are now allowing all drivers to view trip details before accepting them.
This is a welcome change for nearly all drivers, who prefer the greater control over their driving schedules.