Dear Uber: you're great but please add this feature!

UPDATE: A few additions at the end. I was pretty surprised (and so was my WP server) that that this made HN front-page. Also - hello, Cloudflare!

When ordering an Uber ride, I (obviously) have to enter my pickup location.

Can I please also enter the intended dropoff location? Maybe like this:


Or, maybe even better: let me enter it after the pick-up has been confirmed, while waiting for the driver. And, while we're at it: let me also pick a preferred route, if I want to.

Why? Because that way, the driver will already have directions pre-loaded in their GPS when they pick me up. Makes is easier for both of us, and the whole experience becomes even smoother.

And, it will prevent this from happening again:


That was earlier this year. Here's what happend: the Uber app, which uses Google Maps, was able to find my destination address - I know this because I requested a fare quote. However, the driver used a different GPS for navigation, which did not find it. And the driver was unfamiliar with the neighborhood (and so was I).

This could have been avoided if the driver's GPS would have been pre-loaded with directions.

By the way - why do drivers have to use the Uber driver app and a separate navigation device anyways? Add navigation capabilities to the app, and the drivers can ditch their GPS devices. And will also be less distracted while driving.

Sounds good? Great, let me know when it's done. Oh, and thanks for the free black car upgrade yesterday. Keep up the good work!

Discuss on HN.

UPDATE: some interesting comments on HN, here are my responses:

  • Risk of drivers rejecting rides based on drop-off location (pointed out by tptacek, apaprocki and others): that's a valid concern, but as jaredsohn points out correctly, this can easily be mitigated by hiding this information from the driver until they actually pick up the passenger.
  • Drivers using their smartphones for navigation could be less safe than dash-mounted nav devices (also pointed out by tptacek): true, drivers would have to be required to dash-mount their smartphones in a similarly fashion. This setup would certainly be much safer than the current one, where they're paying attention to a mounted GPS and their non-mounted smartphone running the Uber app.
    Also - maybe at some point in the future, the Uber driver's app can run directly on the car's on-board computer system - now that would be nice, wouldn't it?
  • dsl points out that "If you request a fare quote before your request, the driver will see your destination once they have accepted the fare" - now that is interesting! I'd suggest to make this more prominent to the user, and also add route selection (for the passenger) and gps integration (for the driver).


Written on April 13, 2014. Please subscribe to my blog.