In this digital age, we tend to rely on our phones for a great many things. We use them to communicate, to order and pay for items, and we even use them to make sure that we get a ride to where we need to go. One company knows a lot about how desperate we can get when your battery is about to die, and how much we’ll pay as a result.
You might not realize it, but Uber keeps track of how much charge your phone has. When you install it, you give the app permission to check this, so that it can go into low power mode when necessary. And what even fewer people know is that Uber actually tracks this information when you use the app. This gives them a unique viewpoint into how we use our phones, and how we react to certain situations when our battery is low.
The company keeps track of every time someone requests a ride, and then declines it, due to the surge pricing. While going through the data, they found an interesting tidbit. It turns out that when someone’s phone battery is critical, the person will almost always accept the surge pricing, even if it’s at 9.9x. This is no doubt done to ensure that they can actually get a ride home, as opposed to being left stranded with a dead phone.
When surge pricing is at its highest, most users will wait it out, waiting up to 30 minutes before getting a ride at a lower rate.
The good news is that Uber only looks at this information. The company has said that they do not use this information in any way to adjust surge pricing for customers.