There may also be liability reasons for not directly handling nav in the driver app, even if that just meant delegating to some iOS framework:
* It would give customers a toehold to litigate the routes Uber selected, rather than leaving them out of that process entirely
* It would require drivers to interact with iPhones while driving in order to handle the routing, which might be considered less safe than dash-mounted nav devices.
Some of my friends work in bars and want cabs to get them to their less than ideal neighborhoods at 3am or later. It's already very difficult for them to get a cab to take them to a questionable neighborhood once they're in the cab; having to front-load that information could make this much worse.
(Many municipalities require cab drivers to not discriminate. Obviously they do anyway, but I presume that Uber drivers that aren't medallion / license holders have even less impetus to go into these neighborhoods at odd hours.)
Also – maybe at some point in the future, the Uber driver’s app can run directly on the car’s on-board computer system – now that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
That is one of the reasons taxis in NYC are not allowed to ask where you are going prior to letting you in the car. They can be fined a few hundred for that and a few violations will get their license revoked.
Also, what if there is more than one destination?
One way to avoid this -- perhaps the Uber app could let you push a contact's address to the Uber driver's phone/GPS nav after you are in the car as the "next immediate destination" to avoid having to say the address and have the driver key it in.
The second suggestion in the post was about indicating what kind of car to expect. Lyft does a good job with this in the texts they send (it says your driver name and the color/make of the car.)
Of course, it's condescending to think Max Horstmann has though more about this than Uber has.
That being said, it will show the driver the destination address if you use the Fare Calculator before requesting the ride. I'm not 100% sure on the details, though.
Out of curiosity, does the Lyft driver app have maps/nav in-built while Uber does not ?
I would much rather be able to know what colour the car is that's turning up with UberX, makes it easier to spot the car as it arrives.
TL;DR: "When ordering an Uber ride, I (obviously) have to enter my pickup location. Can I please also enter the intended dropoff location?"
On the confirmation screen, you can tap a little plus button next to the pickup address to enter your drop-off location. It's come in handy for me a few times.