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Sunday, September 14, 2014

One-Dimensional In-App Navigation

In-app navigation on Uber's driver app has improved pick-up times. Unfortunately, this in-app navigation is one-dimensional. It won't re-route unless the driver makes a U-Turn. It won't give multiple routes. Therefore, drivers can't avoid toll roads, toll bridges, and highways.

Uber unveiled the In-app navigation feature in May 2014. We knew this new app update would help drivers avoid delays with inputting pick-up addresses. It also improved safety, because a small percentage of drivers may input addresses while in motion. It was an awesome app update. 

However, this In-app navigation is experiencing re-routing problems. It won't give drivers the required directions until they make a recommended U-turn. With clients instructed to input destinations, this In-app navigation is now replacing standard GPS devices that offered multiple routes. As most know, Google Maps is the most efficient navigation apps out there. 

Uber should definitely look into updating their In-app feature. This one-dimensional In-app navigation is best utilized for pick-ups. It doesn't provide the driver with an option to avoid highways and tolls. It doesn't show multiple routes to accommodate clients. 

On a recent Mills College trip, the destination within this In-app navigation instructed a driver to take an inefficient route. It didn't lead to the main entrance, instead the navigation reached an old, closed entrance that is no longer in use. In a past trip, Google Maps guided a driver to the front Mills College entrance via MacArthur Blvd, the street this location is located on. Uber In-app provides an old route, one that delayed/extended the arrival time. 

Uber's In-app navigation is efficient to make faster pick-ups. Nonetheless, this navigation feature is unlike the technology featured on Lyft and SideCar ride-sharing apps, where drivers can press the navigation button and this send saved pick-addressed to their personal GPS apps. This allows GPS app users to navigate to this pick-up address using a number of routes. 

In contrast, Uber's In-app navigation reduces the time required to click on routes and to activate these directions (i.e. Apple Maps). There is a trade-off using Uber's In-app navigation. It works well for pick-ups. It does not provide multiple routes. It lacks a feature to avoid highways and tolls. It gives one route to destinations. 

Overall, the Uber In-app navigation feature is helping drivers to become most efficient. Unlike Sidecar, Uber pays their drivers for all miles and time driven. No pre-determined price arrangement is set in stone, because some passengers can use this system to their advantage. 

We heard of a recent ETA feature now available on the Uber app. Drivers can see the ETA on the app. However, the driver must press "info" and/or 'overview" to locate the name of their client. If the client calls, the driver won't know their name. The client's name is shown after pressing "arrived" at the pick-up address. It is unavailable on the app interface, unless the driver presses on the two options, as instructed above. A good update is to always show the client's name on the app. 

Uber on!