Lyft adds default tipping and ratings to improve driver experience

Lyft is preparing to launch a couple of new features designed to improve the experience for drivers: default tipping and default five-star ratings in certain instances. The company also plans to make some adjustments to its rating system, which is a vital part of a driver's ability to continue operating on the platform. As well, drivers will soon have access to tools that help them plan their schedule.

Lyft enables riders to give their drivers optional tips; they're also prompted to rate their driver, which can include leaving a reason for the rating. Drivers must maintain a certain minimum rating to continue using the service, which makes any given low rating troublesome, especially if it was given for something outside of the driver's control

The company is addressing these issues and concerns with some new changes. Passengers who fail to rate their driver will result in that driver being given an automatic five-star rating, for example. As well, drivers will no longer be impacted by ratings that are given for stuff outside of their control. Lyft also plans to purge the driver's single lowest rating, which should improve ratings across the board.

Lyft plans to repeatedly remove drivers' single lowest ratings for every 100 rides they give. The idea is that a single low rating can have a big impact an on otherwise acceptable score, so the move helps protect drivers from what may be an atypically low review.

To help ensure that unfair ratings are dealt with, Lyft will start asking its drivers to qualify every rating of four stars or less. This could help the driver clarify in instances where the low rating wasn't their fault, and in those cases the rating will not count against them.

Also soon, riders will soon have the option to set up a default tip for rides. This will be offered to select users starting next month, but the company plans to roll it out broadly next year.

Finally, drivers will soon see a redesigned app that helps them plan their week; the tools will include easy access to data on local events, available bonuses, and more. There will be a demand graph to see when traffic demand is highest and expected demand over the week.