Weekly Round-Up: DoorDash Launches Big App Updates

In this edition of our weekly round-up, DoorDash is allowing drivers the choice of being paid hourly or the way they have been paid for years.

Instacart updates their Cart Star rewards program. And, a driver was killed when their passenger thought they were being kidnapped.

Introducing DoorDash’s Biggest App Updates in a Decade


DoorDash was founded 10 years ago with the mission to grow and empower local economies. What started as a restaurant delivery platform has evolved into a global marketplace for local commerce, now delivering anything consumers need on-demand from their neighborhood. In our first decade, we’ve facilitated 5 billion consumer orders, driven over $100 billion in sales for merchants, and helped Dashers ​​earn over $35 billion through the platform.

Today, we are excited to share some of the biggest updates we’ve made in a decade across our three-sided marketplace as part of our inaugural Dash Forward 2023 product showcase.

“Customer feedback has been central to how we approach innovation since our founding 10 years ago, and we continue to embrace that commitment as we build products and services that meet the real-time needs of all the audiences we serve,” said Rajat Shroff, Head of Product & Design at DoorDash. “By helping merchants digitize every part of their business to drive incremental sales, by making every store in the neighborhood more accessible to consumers, and by pioneering the future of work with new and flexible ways to earn, DoorDash is building the future of local commerce on a global scale.”…

doordash app updates

My Take

While most of the updates are on the consumer end, obviously the biggest update for drivers to take notice is the payment.

Drivers can get paid either by time or per offer. The “Earn by Time” is the big change here. With this, drivers start earning as soon as they accept an offer until it has been completed. As opposed to the “Earn Per Offer” which is the current model where the Dasher is paid based on the offer in the app.

It’s good they are offering both options. Not everyone would be willing to change while others might find the hourly rate more appealing.

Along with the pay structure, DoorDash is also offering a bit of safety for their drivers by allowing them to share their location with up to five contacts so friends and family can track them in real time.

Introducing Updates to the Cart Star Rewards Program


Shoppers are ​​an important part of the Instacart community, helping give people access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together.

You balance empathy and efficiency with communication and problem-solving. With every carefully considered substitution, expiration date examined, and order delivered, you master your craft and delight your customers.

In 2022, we renewed our commitment to improving your experience on the Instacart platform. As part of that commitment, we introduced Cart Star, a shopper rewards program that recognizes your work on the Instacart platform.

Since we launched Cart Star, shoppers have continued to go above and beyond for customers, earning points with each order shopped to qualify for the three Cart Star tiers: Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Carts.

Along the way, we’ve gathered your feedback on the program and how you’d like to see Cart Star evolve to meet your needs. That’s why, today, we’re excited to announce that we are investing even further in the program with meaningful additions that recognize the shopper community….

My Take

Below is the outline of the new rewards available through the updated program:

Cart Star Rewards Program
Cart Star Rewards Program

Overall it’s nice seeing companies making changes in favor of their drivers. Granted, all of the platforms still have a long way to go. To be specific, all of them should give drivers a raise.

With inflation and costs continually on the rise, it’s getting harder and harder to earn a living no matter what job you have (unless you’re an executive or some other bigwig).

Uber Rider Who Killed Driver Said She Thought She Was Being Kidnapped


The passenger, who is charged with murder, told the authorities that she shot Daniel Piedra Garcia in the head as she worried he was taking her across the border to Mexico instead of to an El Paso casino.

Daniel Piedra Garcia had been an Uber driver for three weeks when he picked up a rider on June 16 who was headed to the Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso. It was near the end of his work day, but Mr. Piedra had picked up the rider anyway, his family said.

As they passed a sign for Juarez, Mexico, a nearby city over the border, the passenger grew nervous about where they were headed, she told the authorities. According to court documents, she said that she feared she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico….

My Take

What a horrible situation. I feel so bad for the driver’s family to have to lose him in this way. It’s difficult to say anything about what happened because I’ve been a terrified woman before, fearing for my life. Luckily, it wasn’t in the back of an Uber, and I don’t own a gun. But it’s easy to overreact in that kind of situation.

This is one reason why I always have the navigation up while I’m riding around an area I’m unfamiliar with. Realistically, if the passenger were doing this, she would have seen that he hadn’t veered off course and was still taking her directly to the casino she was expecting to arrive at.

Such a tragedy. And it seems like these kinds of incidents keep on happening to drivers and passengers alike.

Remote Driving Company Vay Arrives in US


The United States will soon have a new name competing in the driverless car arena – Germany’s Vay.

The Berlin-based company has announced it is opening an office in Las Vegas as it plans its assault on the American market.

It marks a new stage in the growth of the “remote driving” or “teledriving” firm, which made global headlines in February when it became the first company to deploy a car without a human inside in Europe when it successfully carried out tests in Hamburg….

My Take

This remote driving company has been around for a hot minute but this is the first we’ve heard of it coming to the U.S. It’s a take on the driverless vehicle that I hadn’t really considered previously. You still have to have a person dedicated to driving the vehicle, but they wouldn’t be in it.

This would make rideshare driving safer in a different way. It would prevent unfortunate tragedies like the one above. It would prevent issues between drivers and passengers, at least physical issues.

Honestly, I would consider driving for rideshare again if I could be a remote driver instead of having to actually go out and do the drive in person. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this as it develops.

Amazon, Uber, And Lyft Sue Seller Over Rogue Rideshare Signs — Here’s What He Says In Response


Uber and Lyft are joining forces with Amazon in a lawsuit targeting the alleged sale of counterfeit LED window signs bearing the logos of the rideshare rivals.

The companies sued Gary Hutton of Torrance, Calif., and his company, Huttronics LLC, in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday on claims of trademark infringement, false advertising, and violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act — seeking an injunction and financial damages.

The lawsuit cites potential safety concerns from the sale of the signs.

“Defendants’ unauthorized sale of counterfeit Uber and Lyft signs and decals in the Amazon Store creates a risk that the counterfeit products will be used by bad actors with improper motives, potentially jeopardizing the safety of riders,” the suit says.

GeekWire contacted Hutton for comment on Tuesday morning via his website. When he called back, he said it was the first he’d heard of the suit, and he was initially skeptical that our inquiry was legitimate….

My Take

I actually side with the platforms and Amazon on this. It’s already dangerous enough for drivers and passengers alike without letting literally anybody order the Uber and Lyft decals to put up in their vehicles and pretend to be a driver.

Granted, some legit drivers don’t even have the signage they are supposed to have. But I’d rather have a real driver without signs than a fake driver with what looks like legit signage from the companies.

The seller seems to think that all of his customers are legitimate drivers, but there’s no real way for him to confirm this before selling these emblems to the customers.

Maybe this will encourage the platforms to create their own signs that are better seen at night or in low visibility situations.

RSG in the News This Week