Two new features are set to be rolled out by Uber this week, one of which lets riders schedule a cab up to 30 days in advance. The new feature titled ‘Uber Reserve’ will feature an all-new streamlined look, better matching, and a service fee.
In its latest update, uber will now let users reserve rides up to 30 days in advance and pick their favorite driver for the trip as the ride-hailing company seeks out new ways to attract customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Reserve will begin to show up on the app this week and is designed for users who want to book a ride at least two hours in advance. Uber said it will keep its current “schedule a ride” option for those trips that fall under that two hours in advance timeline. The new feature will also change how drivers are connected with riders and will levy a service fee to incentivize drivers to accept these advance bookings.
Starting this week, Uber Reserve will be live in 20 US cities. The process for booking a scheduled ride is much more streamlined than in the past. Rides can be booked as much as 30 days in advance but no less than two hours before the scheduled pickup. With the new input, customers using Reserve will be matched with a driver two hours ahead of their pickup and presented with an upfront fare.
“While saving you time lies at the heart of our service, we wanted to take this idea to the next level by building mobility features that more flexibly fit around your life,” Holley Beasley, operations lead at Uber.
The company has also added in a “favorite driver” option. Riders can now add favorite drivers to their app. Once they select the Reserve features, riders will have the option to select one of their “favorite drivers.” These favorite drivers will be offered to them first.
The new features will also include an additional 15-minute grace period if the rider is running late and an on-time guarantee that will give users $50 in Uber Cash if their driver is even a minute late to the ride they have scheduled. That Uber Cash will come directly from Uber, and the drivers will not be levied. Uber said it’s added protection for the drivers as well. If a Reserve ride is canceled within an hour of the trip, the driver will receive the full fare.
The upfront fares will include a service fee ranging from $8–12, depending on the market. “Obviously these trips are more expensive than the on-demand version of the trip,” said Geoffrey Tam-Scott, product manager at Uber. “We’re trying to enable between the rider and driver the most reliable, assured experience that is possible. And so by adding this extra fee to the fare it makes the trips more attractive to drivers.”
The ‘Uber Reserve’ feature will start with premium Uber Black and Black SUV rides. The company said it will make the feature available to other ride options such as Uber X, “comfort” and XL by the end of the year. New York City is among the 20 cities where the feature will be enabled this week.