Uber is introducing new features aimed at addressing the unfair deactivations often experienced by drivers who transport passengers as well as providers.
The technology that Uber is introducing across the US will identify riders or Uber Eats customers who consistently give bad ratings or reviews in order to get their money back. The company’s blog post says that the claims of these customers will not be taken into account when deciding to rate or disable driver accounts.
The company is also expanding its in-app review center to give drivers and couriers more information about the reasons for deactivating their account, allow them to request a review of the decision, and share additional information, such as audio or video footage.
Last year, Uber introduced a nationwide audio recording feature for drivers and riders. The company also began piloting video recording and said Monday it will expand the pilot to iOS drivers in a dozen U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis and select drivers in Los Angeles.
For an extended period, drivers in the app-based gig economy have been expressing their opposition to unjust deactivations, essentially tantamount to termination. Numerous drivers have participated in collective legal actions against the company. Their grievances include allegations that certain riders file malicious or biased complaints. Additionally, drivers contend that they face a lack of transparency in accessing the details of these complaints, hindering their ability to challenge them. Furthermore, Uber is criticized for providing minimal avenues for drivers to dispute these claims.
Verifying riders and other updates for drivers
Uber also said that in 2025, the company will expand verification of rider identities. Riders will be identified based on simple third-party checks — like if your name matches the credit card on file. If Uber can’t verify a rider’s identity that way, they’ll ask for an ID, but that won’t be the standard. Uber wouldn’t share further information on this, such as whether Uber will automatically verify riders or whether riders will have to opt in.
Uber is also integrating Android Auto with the Uber Driver app, allowing drivers who use Androids to now see heat maps, accept trips and use on-screen navigation from their car dashboard. The integration comes several months after Uber launched something similar with Apple CarPlay in February.
Finally, Uber added a tool in the app to help couriers find nearby parking. The company said it will also add map labels that specify exact drop-off doors or photos of the building to make it clearer to couriers where a customer requested food to be dropped off.