Friday, April 28, 2017

Uber Update Lets Users See How They Have Been Rated by Drivers

Especially for people living in densely populated cities like Los Angeles or New York, it can be difficult to justify owning a vehicle. Traffic is usually difficult to deal with, parking can be nearly impossible to find, and unless you're driving a significant distance each day, the combination of gasoline, insurance, and maintenance can make it all too costly. Fortunately, ride-sharing technology gives people a way to get around town without having to own a car of their own.

While there are many ride-sharing smartphone applications, the two most popular and well-known are Uber and Lyft. Each has similar business plans: they take a percentage of every dollar earned by one of their drivers. Both driver and rider have the opportunity to rate each other, and the ratings help other drivers and riders to choose whether they want to use the service. Until recently, riders could see all of the ratings (on a 5-star scale) that other riders had left for their driver, and drivers could see ratings left for riders. According to Tracey Lien's L.A. times article, a recent update to the Uber app will allow riders to view their own ratings.

Uber executives hope that this update will help both drivers and riders to improve the ride-sharing experience. The riders can rate the drivers on safety, friendliness, and cleanliness of the vehicle, while drivers can rate riders on whether they leave a mess in the car or if they slam the doors. Because riders will now be able to see what drivers think of them, it is hoped that they will be more cognizant of their behavior and will, therefore, become better passengers.

Everyone wants to have a high rating on apps like Uber because the app's algorithm matches up riders and drivers based on similar rankings. So, if a rider has close to 5 stars, they will likely get paired up with a driver with a 5-star rating. If they have a lower score, they will, in turn, be paired up with a less-sought-after driver. While this update should be beneficial to everyone, another update aims to help drivers avoid being negatively affected by the behavior of other passengers in an UberPool, in which a rider chooses to share the ride with another user of the app. Lately, Uber has had some bad press, but the changes they are making could help to improve their image, retain their drivers, and win back potential riders.

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