The times they are a-changin’ — for Uber that is
Uber’s working on making it easier for you to get a ride when you need it.
“Ride-scheduling,” unveiled June 9 on a trial basis in Seattle, is the latest feature to be added, according to the company’s blog.
While the new feature allows riders to schedule a pickup request up to 30 days in advance, it doesn’t allow riders to match with drivers ahead of time.
Since launching its ride-sharing application six years ago, the company said on its blog that riders have wanted the ability to arrange a pickup in advance.
The company said it did not have a specific date when Boston would receive the new feature, but “other top business travel cities” will soon be added. Uber is also limiting the new feature to users it identifies as “business travelers.’’
To use the function, users will have to select “uberX” in the app, followed by a “Schedule a Ride” option.
After filling out the appropriate information, such as pickup date and time, confirmation will be sent to the user. The company says they’ll send reminders 24 hours and then again at 30 minutes before the requested pickup time.
The driver’s information will be shared once a match is made, like the app currently does with unscheduled rides, Uber said.
The ability to schedule a ride is a complete turnaround for Uber.
According to Forbes in 2015, Uber’s Travis Kalanick told Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff that Uber had no plans to introduce a scheduling capability.
Roughly two weeks ago, ride-share rival Lyft also announced plans for testing ride-scheduling capabilities. According to an announcement posted May 23 on its blog, Lyft users in San Francisco can schedule rides up to 24 hours in advance.
Uder’s scheduling proposal comes on the heels of another announcement — guaranteed uberPOOL arrival time.
In a June 7 blog post, the company stated that uberPOOL users will see an “arrival time” estimate as opposed to the current travel time estimate. If you miss your “arrival time,” Uber will give you $2 off your next uberPOOL ride.
Currently, uberPOOL arrival time is only offered in Los Angeles, but the company hopes to expand it to other cities soon.
Uber said it also does not have a specific date to roll out the new uberPOOL feature in Boston.