Uber is rolling out a new feature this week that will let users reserve rides up to 30 days in advance and pick their favorite driver for the trip as the ride-hailing company seeks new ways to attract customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. TechCrunch reports:
The new option, called Uber Reserve, which will begin to show up on the app in the next week, 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. Riders who use the Reserve feature will be shown their fare upfront and be matched to a driver ahead of the trip. The company has also folded 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. Uber stressed that drivers aren’t penalized for opting not to take the ride.
The ride-hailing company baked in two other perks, 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, not the driver’s earnings, the company told TechCrunch. 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.