Uber guarantees pick-up times and makes it easier for drivers to spot you

Uber has announced new features to make it easier for drivers to find riders and to ensure riders can have more peace of mind over their scheduled pick up time.

In a blog post on Monday, the US ride-sharing giant said it will begin compensating customers when drivers don’t show up within a ten minute window of their pre-booked time. Users will get a $10 credit towards their next ride if the driver fails to make it on time.

This only applies to pro-booked rides rather than those booked to come ASAP through the app, but it should help those travelling to the airport early in the morning get a better night’s sleep.

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Uber says: “When you have an early flight to catch or an important meeting to get to, scheduling your ride in advance is a great way to make sure you leave on time. Our on-time guarantee means your scheduled ride will arrive during the time period you select, or we’ll give you Uber credit towards your next ride.”

Elsewhere the company is launching a new Spotlight feature, which makes it easier users to flag down their ride at times when many people are waiting for a pick-up in a tight space.

“With Spotlight,” the company says, “you can light up your phone with a special colour specific to your driver. Your driver will receive a message telling them what colour to look for, so you can just hold your phone in the air.”

Finally, Uber is also upgrading the chat portion of its app, which enables riders to communicate more effectively with drivers in a safe manner.

The firm adds: “Sometimes you want to give your driver a little extra detail ahead of the pickup. To help you communicate with your driver without taking their attention off of the road, we’ve made sending a message simple. Now it’s even easier to share a tip (“I’m wearing a red jacket”), or send your driver a quick pre-populated update like “be right there” with a single tap. We designed Pickup Messages to encourage safe driving: your messages are read aloud, and drivers can simply tap to respond.”

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