On Wednesday, April 28, Uber announced its Go Get initiative, which brings new products and features to the Uber platform. Drivers also will see new features added to their driver app over time.
Not all of these new features will go live immediately nationwide. Some are rolling out in larger markets first, with the potential to go fully nationwide later. However, this announcement is all part of Uber’s push to be a one-stop resource for everyone.
As the world starts shifting toward a “new normal,” businesses and workers alike are pivoting to make sure they still fit in the landscape of the economy. The rideshare industry is no different. Ridership went down drastically when businesses were closed and shelter-in-place measures were enforced.
Below, senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins outlines some of the highlights from Uber’s Go Get announcement.
Go Get Initiatives Affecting Drivers
Not all of the initiatives announced will greatly affect drivers one way or the other, but there are few that will be new to Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery people. Let’s walk through what these may look like. Keep in mind, it seems like the end goal for Uber is to be a one-stop shop for everything.
Uber Rent with Valet
The basic concept of this is that a customer can book a car for rental and have it dropped off at their door, and picked up wherever they left it when they are done. It sounds simple enough, right?
Here’s where it gets interesting for drivers. First, it’s important to note this feature is only rolling out in Washington, DC first, which has robust public transportation. However, with Uber Rent with Valet, drivers will receive a notice that a customer wants to rent a vehicle.
In their app, drivers will see the full pick up and drop off address, plus the estimated fare. All bookings must be done 24 hours in advance, so drivers will have plenty of time to determine if that Valet request is worth their time.
If a driver accepts the Uber Rent with Valet opportunity, they’ll pickup the rental car, take it to the customer, and then… get themselves back to their car/home/other location.
Yes, drivers will be tasked with getting themselves back to either their car or another location after dropping off the rental car. According to an Uber spokesperson, drivers will receive a discount code if they want to take an Uber to get back. Drivers could also use public transit, a bike or escooter, or other options available in DC.
So what about pay? Drivers will see estimated pay before they accept the Uber Rent with Valet request, and drivers will be paid to drop off the vehicle and pick it up (if they choose to accept the pick up request.) Drivers will also receive part of the rental booking fee, potentially making Uber Rent with Valet more lucrative than simply driving.
Uber Rent with Valet is also a good option for those who don’t own a car to drive for Uber. Let’s say you’re considering driving for Uber, but don’t have a car and find rideshare car rental rates too expensive. In this case, you could accept Uber Rent with Valet requests because you’ll drive a rental car (Avis, for now) to a customer, then hop on an ebike or scooter to get back home or to another location.
This feature is only launching in Washington, D.C. in May with plans to expand to other cities nationwide sometime this year. If you’re a driver in D.C. and experience this, please let us know how it goes!
Passengers have been allowed to book Uber Black (and Premier) cars for an hour or more at a time, but now it’s opening up to Uber X vehicles as well.
The basic concept is that passengers will be able to order you as their driver for an hour or more at a time and they’ll pay an hourly rate. You’ll be their driver for the duration. So, if they have 3 stops to make during their booked period of time, you will have to drop them off and wait for them at each.
As of right now, Uber is still working on rolling out UberX hourly bookings in the future, but we will update as we learn more about compensation as this rolls out.
Pickup and Go
One feature that I know many drivers will be upset about is the Pickup and Go feature. Customers will be able to order food en route to their destination and have the driver stop by that restaurant so they can get their food before finishing the trip at their drop off.
So, you’d basically be a driver and delivery person all in one without getting a heads up up-front about a possible stop along the way, unless the passenger discloses that before ordering their food.
Once they place their order, your map will update with the new stop added in, to direct you to the restaurant. Who knows if the food will be ready in a timely manner or not? That’s a gamble drivers will have to deal with when this option goes live.
To top it off, even if you’re not an Uber Eats driver, you’ll have to suddenly deal with the possible mess of having food in your vehicle, not to mention the smell of that food lingering after the passenger is dropped off.
And, of course, there’s the dreaded drive-thru, which most drivers avoid like the plague already. There is no mention of added compensation to the driver for providing this service either.
The announcement did not specify which markets this will be launching in or when it will be live.
Overall Thoughts About Uber’s Go Get Announcement
Overall, there’s a lot here that passengers will love. You can read the full announcement and even watch the video here, as there is more information about getting passengers to vaccination appointments and more.
Most of the features announced are rolling out in a few markets, over a long period of time, so it may be a while before most drivers are impacted. We’re not very excited about the Pickup and Go feature, but we’ll see how it plays out!
Drivers, how do you feel about these changes? Are you excited for them?
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-Paula @ RSG