Uber money-saving ride delay feature appears in test

Some Uber users are seeing a new in-app feature that gives them the choice to save money by waiting longer for a ride. A screenshot of the feature has appeared online; in it, we see an advisory stating that "if you're OK leaving later, we'll request your ride" at the later, cheaper time slot. Users are presented with both the current and delayed costs.

A screenshot revealing the feature was recently tweeted — and then soon deleted — by an Uber employee. The feature is apparently not supposed to be public knowledge at this time; it's unclear how many users currently have access to it, though it's possible it could be limited to just Uber employees for now.

Regardless, we get a glimpse of what may be a future way to save money while helping Uber juggle the availability of its drivers. Someone who requests a ride but doesn't need to get going ASAP can choose to wait a bit longer in exchange for a lower fare. Or, if that's not an option for them, they can request an immediate ride and pay the higher price.

The difference in cost no doubt depends on time, region, and more. In the since-deleted screenshot, we see a difference of two dollars for what appears to be only a 4 minute wait time. The time on the phone in the screenshot reads "16:56," while the app lists the cheaper rate for "17:00."

Though small, such discounts could add up to large savings for customers who use the service on a regular, especially daily, basis. This may also convert more customers to the service who otherwise still consider leasing or outright car ownership more appealing. When — or if — this feature will roll out to everyone is unclear.

SOURCE: Quartz