Monday, August 04, 2014

No Filters: Longer Distance Requests and Cancellations

The Uber driver app lacks trip filters to prevent rides from longer distances. If UberX drivers are working in San Francisco and enter the Marina District, ride requests arrive from Mill Valley, Tiburon, San Rafael, and other Marin County cities. Repeatedly ignoring these ride requests can impact a driver's acceptance rate. The same client can keep resubmitting requests to reduce this acceptance percentage. No filters can hook drivers to long distance rides.

Most ridesharing drivers in the Bay Area are experienced with speedy pickups. This means that clients requesting rides are matched with the closest drivers. Drivers can stay within a certain radius to increase downtime. However, Uber doesn't employ filters in their app. As a result of this, drivers are matched with clients that are further out and this may increase trip cancellations.  

For example, an UberX driver will get matched with ride requests from Novato, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Kenwood, Saint Helena, Calistoga, and Yountville. If the driver accepts these ride requests, they take a risk that this client will cancel them before they reach this pick-up spot. There is a high probability that clients from these locations will be no-shows, even if drivers call and confirm. 

San Francisco UberX drivers roaming around in the Marina District may get matched with a client from Marin County. If they ignore these requests, this can affect their acceptance rate. Whenever Uber runs a driver promotion, it is mandatory to maintain a 90% acceptance rate. Ignoring these ride requests from Marin County can disqualify drivers from these promotions. 

An UberX driver working in Berkeley may receive a request from Moraga to give a $6 ride. It can take this driver 20+ minutes and 13 miles of driving to reach this pick-up spot in Moraga. It is possible that clients may take a taxi, get a ride from a friend and/or be a no-show. UberX drivers risk losing valuable time and money making these long trips out to distant cities. 

Drivers are experienced to know that dense cities save gas and increase the frequency of rides. Lyft is one of this ridesharing companies that keeps their drivers in San Francisco. It is easy for Lyft drivers to give 23 rides in 7-8 hours. For the most part, Lyft drivers will never be requested to pick up a passenger that is positioned 30 minutes away. Lyft has a grasp on balancing supply and demand.

However, UberX drivers will get matched with clients in distant cities. If UberX drivers could predict that this trip will be profitable for them, they can travel to this pick-up location without worrying about time and gas. UberX clients in Napa Valley, Walnut Creek, Marin County, and in Berkeley cancel rides often. These clients also input wrong addresses, are no-shows, and may vomit inside your car. 

Setting pick-up and drop-off filters like SideCar can limit cancellations and improve efficiency. If filters are not set, drivers will exhaust fuel and waste additional time driving to these distant locations. When drivers are matched with clients from 20+ minutes out, this means there are no nearby drivers available. This decreases the frequency of rides since drivers are spending too much time making pick-ups rather than making multiple trips per hour.  

Typically, setting filters enable drivers to choose their rider base. If these drivers make a drop-off in Twin Peaks, they won't get matched with trips in the Financial District. The more time invested into longer pick-ups, the least amount of rides can be given. Therefore, drivers will make less money and spend more on gas.

Primarily, the goal is to locate clients within a few miles and transport them to their destinations in the least time possible. After this, another request must arrive within a few minutes and must be close to drivers. On the opposing side, ride requests with no filters may connect drivers with clients in distant locations outside of the home-base region. 

Until filters are integrated into the Uber app, drivers may increase mileage, exhaust fuel, incur cancellations, encounter rude clients, lower acceptance percentage, and experience no-shows.