This feature marks an extension of Uber’s traditional on-demand model and adds to the previous plan, allowing passengers to choose to accept pets or provide drivers with car seats.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Uber’s ride-hailing business in the United States only recovered slowly. In the third quarter, travel in the United States and Canada fell 59% from the same period last year.
Uber’s stock price soared on Monday due to the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine.
Company executives said that the new “reserve” feature is a response to customer surveys and focus groups, which showed that you need to choose the option of booking a ride in advance (such as seeing a doctor).
Uber has already provided customers with the option to arrange itineraries, but executives said that the new preparation feature also makes drivers prefer specific drivers. If the reserved car does not arrive on time, Uber will provide $50 (approximately 3,700 rupees) Uber points.
Geoff Tam-Scott, head of product at Uber Reserve, said that since the pandemic began in March, demand for regular rides has surged.
Tam-Scott said: “On-demand will still be our livelihood… But many drivers tell us that the attraction of the reserve experience is to create your journey, and then don’t worry about it.”
Uber said it will release the feature in more than 20 U.S. cities in the coming weeks, including New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Seattle.
Drivers need to pay a booking fee of US$8 (approximately 600 rupees) to US$12 (approximately 900 rupees), which is included in the upfront price locked at the time of booking. The initial reserve is limited to Uber’s high-end car segment, but will then be expanded to other price ranges and rural areas.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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