Uber adds new features that let drivers work on their own terms

Uber is adding a new batch of driver-friendly features to its app.

This latest round of updates in the app-based taxi company’s “180 Days of Change” campaign focuses on giving drivers more flexibility to manage their days on their own terms.

One new feature allows drivers to set a time by which they need to be at a particular destination.

Let’s say a driver who has to be at her primary job by 10 a.m. wants to make a bit of extra cash on the way to work. In Uber’s app, she can now specify when she needs to be at her workplace. The app will connect her with rides that are en route and will notify her when it’s time to head to the office.

Previously, Uber’s app let drivers set an end destination, but didn’t allow them to set an arrival time. And it only let them set two destinations per day; with the update, they can now select up to six.

Another new feature notifies drivers if a prospective rider is requesting a trip that’s will take 45 minutes or longer. Drivers will have the option to turn down the ride or, if they want to take it, confirm that they have enough gas and are prepared to sit in the car for a while.

Thanks to the update, drivers can also now choose in the app which type of rides they will accept. They can choose to accept only UberSelect requests, for example. Or they can choose to just deliver food for UberEATS instead. However, as Harry Campbell points out on The Rideshare Guy, drivers cannot entirely opt out of UberPool rides, which require them to pick up multiple passengers.

It’s only 60 days into its 180 day campaign, but Uber seems to be following through on its promise to improve its service for drivers. Collectively, the new features represent the third major update for drivers since the launch of the campaign.

The first big update, which came in June, added tipping to the app, a feature long requested by drivers. Since that update, drivers have earned $US50 million in tips, Uber said.

The second big update promised improved customer support for drivers. Uber was infamous among drivers for its poor support systems, and in response added a 24/7 support line.

The company has been trying to shore up its reputation with drivers and the public at large after a series of scandals earlier this year and amid growing competition from the likes of Lyft.

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