Uber rolling out driver tracking features in select US cities

Uber has announced that it will soon begin using its immensely popular app to track the behavior of its drivers. This includes things like tracking overall speed (and alerting drivers when they're excessively going over the speed limit), monitoring how harshly drivers brake over the course of a trip, and even using the phone's gyroscope to see whether or not the driver uses their phone when they should have their eyes on the road. The feature will score drivers on their driving habits, all in the name of making Uber trips safer.

This, obviously, has some benefits for riders, who don't have a good way of know what kind of driver they're getting into a car with outside of user reviews. Speaking of user reviews, Uber says these new features should also help drivers better understand the nature of their negative reviews – was it they way they drive or was it something unrelated to the journey itself? Uber also says that, at least at first, nothing will happen to drivers who score low, though that seems to be a possibility once these features are rolled out on a larger scale. It should be noted that netting a large number of negative reviews is enough on its own for Uber to suspend drivers, so if these new features help some avoid such a fate, then all the better.

So it seems that to start, Uber will be taking a passive approach to these new features. Drivers will get a report at the end of the day that highlights periods of quick acceleration or abrupt breaking as a means of giving them a snapshot of their daily driving behavior. Uber also says that the changes to the app will help remind drivers to take a break when they may need one, such as during times that most humans would normally be sleeping.

The company will be rolling out these features in a handful of US cities to start, and after a few months, it'll look at the value of introducing these features on a larger scale. We're sure that more than a few riders will be pleased to hear about these new tracking features, as well as some open-minded drivers. After all, if it helps an Uber driver avoid future negative reviews and make them a safer driver overall, then it could be immensely valuable for those who rely on the service to make a living.

SOURCE: The Los Angeles Times