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    Getting started driving with Uber can be intimidating for some! Setting up the app, learning how to accept rides, and understanding pay can be a lot to take in. 

    Uber realizes that getting started may unnerve even the most capable drivers, so they have invested in new initiatives to help drivers get started and earn money.

    Harry recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Uber’s VP of Product Management, Sachin Kansal, to learn more about recent app features and updates to help both new and current Uber drivers. 

    Many of these features were designed to help demystify the process of getting started and going on your first trip, along with increasing visibility for your earnings opportunities and genuinely feeling comfortable with your experience as a driver. 

    Below we’ll break down key features that can make getting started with Uber seem less daunting, along with Harry’s pro insights and tips. 

    Watch the full video outlining Uber’s initiatives here: Uber Makes It Easier To Get Started and Earn – Interview with Uber’s VP of Product Management

    This article was sponsored by Uber, but as always, opinions are our own.

    Note: Not all of these features have been rolled out everywhere for everyone yet, so if you haven’t seen everything listed below, stay tuned!

    Getting Started with Uber

    While getting started with Uber has never been the most challenging process, the company is now making it easier with these valuable features.

    Apply For Uber and Eats 

    Uber allows drivers to sign up for the rideshare app and Uber Eats all at once. You might have had to do separate sign-ups to do both in the past. Now, if you prefer to pick up customers and deliver food, you can do this pretty quickly. 

    Uber’s VP of Product also mentioned that you might even be able to get started with Uber Eats within just a few hours of signing up. The Uber sign-up process, however, tends to be more involved since you’ll need to get a vehicle inspection.

    Earnings Guarantee

    Almost everyone signs up for Uber with the hope of earning money. But how much can you expect to make? How many hours do you need to work to meet those income goals?

    Uber’s Driver Earnings Guarantee makes it easier to set your income expectations during the first few weeks. The guarantee means that you’ll make a fixed amount after completing a certain number of trips.

    The guarantee amount is different in each city but for example, let’s say Uber guarantees $2,700 after completing your first 200 trips by a specific date.

    If you complete 200 trips and don’t earn $2,700, Uber will make up the difference, so you’re guaranteed to receive that amount once you complete all the trips. 

    Plus, after completing so many trips, you’ll get a feel for the app and become more of a pro when you find your element. 

    How much do typical Uber drivers make? Take a look at our Uber driver pay article for more information.

    Welcome Guide and Demo Trip

    When you open the Uber app and start driving, you see a Welcome Guide. There are many features included in this guide to help you get adjusted to rideshare driving. One of those guide features is the Demo Trip.

    With the Demo Trip, you can walk yourself through the app as if you were on an actual trip – without really being on one. The demo helps simulate the experience so you can get used to it. The demo is an excellent option if you’re brand new to Uber and still concerned about how to accept trips and how the app guides you through the trip process.

    First Trip Audio Guide

    Another Uber feature that is helpful for new drivers is the Audio Guide for your first trip. Yes, the app can verbally walk you through step-by-step what to do when you get your first trip. It will automatically play on your first trip, so you feel supported immediately.

    It’s very similar to your navigation, guiding you with directions when driving somewhere. However, only the Uber Audio Guide will confirm the steps you’ll need to take so you won’t worry about doing the wrong thing. 

    Learning Center

    The Learning Center is a helpful tab in the Uber app that could benefit a new or experienced driver. It includes quick, one-minute videos and lessons about different categories, including new topics they’ve added like:

    • How ratings work
    • How to increase your tips
    • Ways Uber drivers can stay safe

    There are new courses continually being added to the Learning Center, so there’s something for everyone to explore and learn.

    Opportunities Feature

    Opportunities is an in-app feature that helps drivers and couriers see ways to optimize their earnings. So, for example, you’ll be able to check if there’s a promotion going on that you may want to work toward.

    You can also see if riders have requested to book a trip in advance, also known as Uber Reserve. This is common with people looking for airport rides the following day. You can accept someone’s scheduled ride request for the future and blend these plans into your schedule for a more predictable day. 

    Uber is launching Reserve in cities worldwide so drivers can take advantage of the predictability of filling their schedule with pre-booked rides. 

    Earnings Trends 

    If you’ve had common questions like “which areas are busy and most likely for me to get trips” or “what time of the day should I drive for the best possible results”, you’re not alone. 

    Uber recently launched a feature called Earnings Trends based on historical trends and real-time data to show drivers where they can make the most money and when.

    Typically, you can see these insights in a map or list view and compare locations to see how the day might look. Earnings Trends helps you plan your driving for the day based on real data to maximize earnings.

    Now, this feature is not a guarantee of earnings.  Just because an area has been ‘busy’ in the past doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a trip request. 

    However, you’ll have that key data and visibility to add to your driver strategy so you can find the best practices for you.

    Harry personally likes when a flat-rate bonus or Quest offer is presented in some areas because when you complete the trip, it guarantees you’ll earn more with a bonus. 

    Driver Flexibility

    Uber is well-known for being a flexible income stream for drivers. You don’t have to schedule shifts or pre-book any trips if you don’t want to. So if you prefer to drive from 10 am to 4 pm while your kids are in school, you can make it work for you. 

    One area of flexibility Uber has been working on is allowing drivers to easily switch from the rideshare to meal delivery platform. If you go to Driving Preferences in your app, you can manage whether you want to do delivery, passenger pick-ups, or both. You can find these preferences by selecting the lower left icon on your Driver App map home screen. 

    Uber also notifies you when you may want to turn delivery or driving on if opportunities are picking up. This can be helpful if you hit a lull with the driving app and few trips are coming through. Then you can easily switch back and forth to stay busy and continue earning.  

    Enhanced Support

    When working with a rideshare app, proper support is crucial if you have questions or run into any issues and need guidance. If you go to the Help section of your in-app menu, you’ll see that self-serve help is available, along with 24/7 phone support. 

    Talking to someone on the phone and asking a crucial question can be a lifesaver when you’re on the road and need assistance ASAP.

    Key Takeaways

    Harry had key takeaways from his conversation with Uber’s VP of Product Management:

    • While your number one reason to sign up for Uber (or work any job) is likely to earn money, Harry recommends drivers focus less on the money at first and more on how the app works, getting started, and how to be a successful driver. This is key in setting yourself up to be a profitable Uber driver long-term. 
    • We all have income expectations, so these newer Uber features help increase visibility and help drivers balance those expectations while still maintaining a lot of flexibility. Drivers can drive when they want, where they want, according to their schedule.
    • Bonuses and Quest offers in bigger cities tend to be higher, which is a complaint we often hear from drivers in smaller cities. However, some of the initiatives from this list, such as Earnings Trends and Reserve, can help drivers in smaller cities boost their income.
    • Explore switching from driving to food during typical meal times or toward the end of your shift to see how it works for you. Food delivery trips also tend to require less mileage so you can do a better job of staying in your desired area if that’s a goal.
    • It’s harder to describe certain issues over a chat message, so be sure to utilize the benefit of being able to call a real person and get that peace of mind. 

    Ready to sign up with Uber? Get started here! 

    Were there any features from this list that you didn’t know about? How can you see yourself using some of these newer Uber initiatives to enhance your experience and grow your income?

    -Chonce @ RSG

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.