Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Dear Uber: you’re great but please add this feature (maxhorstmann.net)
13 points by Max_Horstmann on April 14, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

This is probably a bad idea; Uber drivers will primarily use this to screen which calls they pick up. Even if they only revealed the destination after the driver accepted, if the fare was unfavorable enough, the driver might still accept the ding for canceling.

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.

Then don't tell the driver until after the ride starts. Maybe also require that the rider is near the driver before that happens or that the rider presses a button to send over the destination.

Indeed; I further presume that if it was implemented, drivers would move to only accept fares that provided a destination location.

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.)

Regarding the last point: true, drivers would have to be required to dash-mount their smartphones in a similarly fashion. This setup would certainly be much safer than the current one, where they’re paying attention to a mounted GPS and their non-mounted smartphone running the Uber app.

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?

I don't see what is inherently bad about that. If there is a route drivers don't want to take, shouldn't the free market push the price higher until they see it as worth it? (While per-route pricing differences might add complexity, that's exactly the sort of complexity a software company should be able to handle.)

If Uber's goal is to get regulated out of existence as fast as they possibly can, a great first step would be to allow drivers to screen fares by destination.

My guess is that giving drivers the destination info before you are actually in the car would increase drivers canceling pickups when they see the destination is somewhere they don't want to go, or not taking a pickup if they didn't want to haul all the way out to an airport, etc.

As I understand it, they generally like airport pickups. What they don't like are (a) "haul you out into the middle of nowhere near any other fares", and (b) "pick you up from the middle of nowhere and drive you for less than 10 minutes".

Of course, the negative effect is that if a driver sees the destination address before picking you up, they'll avoid taking the call if it is to a location they'd rather not go. (e.g., city -> airport, forced to use heavily congested roads, etc.)

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.

On a recent Uber ride, I had hoped that this would work since the rider app looks like it supports it. (If you click the '+' sign after choosing a pickup location, it lets you choose the dropoff location.) However, I was disappointed in that the driver still asked where I was going. He recommended to me that I try out Sidecar instead, which asks you where you are going as its first question when you schedule a ride.

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.)

In contrast to other comments here, there's a lot they could do to mitigate concerns -- such as simply not showing it until the person was in 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.

My blog post was meant as a feature suggestion by a happy Uber customer, not in a condescending way at all. By no means I meant to imply that I have "thought more about this than Uber has".

FYI: If you request a fare quote before your request, the driver will see your destination once they have accepted the fare (otherwise it says "Drop off as directed").

Interesting! So basically they already have that feature (except for the gps integration), you just have to know about it.

Lyft has this feature (not sure if they added it in the latest update) but the last time I rode the driver was unfamiliar with this feature and asked me "where to", to which I said I added the destination and as soon as the driver marked the ride as "picked up", the destination popped up in the maps. The driver was surprised and didn't know this feature existed.

Out of curiosity, does the Lyft driver app have maps/nav in-built while Uber does not ?

There's a cache here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w1Aic--...

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.

Google Cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w1Aic--...

TL;DR: "When ordering an Uber ride, I (obviously) have to enter my pickup location. Can I please also enter the intended dropoff location?"

You can already do this. If you use the estimate fare functionality, I've had drivers already know where I'm going. It doesn't seem like everyone is accustomed to this, though, since I've mentioned it and some drivers have no idea what I'm talking about.

You can already enter a drop-off location. It might be that Uber needs to make this feature more pronounced in the UI.

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.

Lyft just added this to their latest public build but they've been beta testing this for a year. It doesn't do the navigation in app, it shunts it off to your preferred navigation provider.

Huh? Looks like HN front-page traffic killed my server. Rebooting...

500 error

try again?

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact