It looks like your favorite ride-hailing service is looking to increase customer demand with its new service.
Uber Technologies says that it will allow people to schedule rides in advance soon, which is a big switch from its on-demand service, where you normally just push a button on your phone and request a car. The company announced on Thursday that customers would be able to request a car through its app 30 minutes to 30 days ahead of time.
Uber’s U.S. rival, Lyft, began to test out a scheduled service which has become a major selling point to investors, selling customers on their willingness to work with them in order to place features in their app that their customers need.
“Scheduled rides have been a top requested feature at Uber since the very early days, even though we’re an on-demand company, we totally get it,” said Tom Fallows, who leads the global experiences group at Uber. “Sometimes you want that extra reassurance.”
With Uber testing out scheduled services, it offers more of a reason for Black Americans and other minorities to abandon the taxi altogether.
In a Medium post, one woman described how the Uber experience is better for African-Americans.
“The company says its system is designed to avoid discrimination. Uber requires that users create a profile on the service, but the company says drivers see only their first names and pickup location, which prevents them from racially profiling and rejecting riders.”
According to a survey commissioned by Uber, 66 percent of African-Americans in Chicago believe that the city’s taxi drivers are purposefully discriminating against them, and 62 percent of African-Americans say that low-income and minority neighborhoods are more likely to experience poor service from taxi, which includes being refused service.
The new feature will not stop Uber’s on-demand service, but it will calculate the right time to request a car and then it sends out a request a few minutes before someone needs the car.
Uber has allowed the experience of racism and discrimination to disappear from the grand conversation of taxis and ride sharing, and hopefully this new feature will help these communities even more.
(Photo by Hemant Mishra/Mint via Getty Images)