Uber, the world’s largest ridesharing company, announced the roll out of a series of product innovations, programs and partnerships aimed at making driving for Uber an attractive choice for driver partners across India. Among them was the country’s first ridesharing insurance program. In partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance, the policy provides driver partners with free coverage for accidental death and disablement, hospitalization, and outpatient medical treatment in case of an accident while online on the Uber App and are available for trip requests, en route or on a trip with Uber.
“These announcements are a reflection of our efforts to meaningfully impact and improve the driving experience. Today, we want to celebrate the more than 450,000 drivers across India, and the lengths they go to to make all of our cities move better,” said Pradeep Parameswaran, Head of Central Operations, India, Uber. “We are aware of the special responsibility we have to do our best for the drivers who use the app to earn a livelihood. These innovations and partnerships are a reflection of our commitment to listen, act and enable our drivers to experience the ‘Apnapan’ while driving for Uber. Today, we’re thrilled to announce something that driver partners have asked for the most: insurance. We are partnering with ICICI Lombard, the largest private sector non-life insurer in India, to offer our driver partners accident insurance. This partnership will provide a safety net for our driver partners who keep our cities moving. This is just the beginning, we’ll continue to engage with our driver partners and work towards making driving for Uber, not just the most attractive opportunity but also the most preferred choice.”
What’s New for Driver partners:
- First of its kind Insurance program:
This first-of-its-kind insurance program will provide driver partners (aged 18 to 65) of four-wheeled vehicles intended to carry passengers with coverage for accidental death and disablement, hospitalization and outpatient medical treatment in case of an accident while using the Uber App and are available for trip requests, en route or on a trip with Uber. The unique insurance cover will be offered for free to the driver partners, giving them peace of mind while enjoying the flexibility of independent work.
Cover under this program is will go live as of September 1, 2017. The coverage offered includes Rs. 5 lakh in the event of death, up to Rs. 5 lakh for permanent disability, up to Rs. 2 lakh in the event of hospitalization, with a sub-limit of up to Rs. 50,000 for outpatient treatment.
Commenting on the occasion, Bhargav Dasgupta, MD & CEO ICICI Lombard General Insurance said, “At ICICI Lombard General Insurance, we are excited to partner with Uber India and introduce this unique insurance proposition for their driver partners. ICICI Lombard has always been at the forefront in terms of introducing non-life insurance solutions that address the emerging trends and changing market dynamics. This insurance program is a step forward in that direction.”
- In-app Products to enhance the driving experience
As Uber’s driver community has grown over the years, the technology and services provided to drivers has evolved. Whether that’s creating more flexible ways to earn money, fixing navigation issues or helping partners reduce their operating costs, thousands of people work around the clock to build features and technological innovations that best meet the needs of driver partners. Here’s some of Uber’s newest and most recent product innovations for the driver app:
Driver Destinations: Twice a day, drivers can input their destination and Uber will only send trip requests that are on their way helping reduce driver cancellations and unavailability. For e.g. if the driver keys in Connaught Place and he is in Gurgaon, then he will get ride requests that match the route from Gurgaon to CP, he will not be sent in the opposite direction.
Back-to-Back Trips: Drivers receive their next trip request, while they are a couple of minutes away from completing their current trip. This helps reduce idle time for drivers and ensures riders get a car at the earliest
Pause Requests: After receiving feedback from a driver event earlier this year, Uber introduced a “pause button,” so driver partners could grab lunch, get fuel or a take a quick break.
Heat Maps: The heat map provides drivers with recommended areas where they’re most likely to get their next ride depending on demand and supply at that location. That means less time waiting for a trip and less fuel wasted.
Telematics for Road Safety: A unique technological innovation that monitors and assesses driving patterns and helps provide feedback to driver partners. Through this technology Uber is able to share daily reports with partners on driving patterns, speed of the vehicle and reminds them to take breaks and keep the phone mounted while driving.
Paid waiting time: With this feature, a driver who reaches the rider’s pickup location and waits longer than a fixed duration will be eligible for paid wait time. This ensures drivers earn on the Uber platform, when they reach the rider’s pickup location and wait longer than a fixed duration for the trip to begin.
Cancellation window: The drivers can see a countdown timer in their app when they reach the rider’s pickup location. After waiting for a fixed duration, they may choose to cancel and will be eligible for Cancellation Fee.
In App Chat: This feature allows driver partners to message their rider once they reach the pickup destination. This is means drivers no longer need to call a rider if they’re using In App Chat.
Driver Profiles & Compliments: This feature lets riders see the driver’s profile with metrics like total trips, compliments and comments received from other riders. This promotes a healthy conversation between rider and driver. Riders also have the option to give compliment badges to the drivers based on the experience they had on the trip. This helps drivers see their performance in the form of badges received from riders.
Partnerships and Initiatives to help driver’s experience ‘Apnapan’
To make the driver experience easier, hassle free and safer Uber has introduced several initiatives and partnerships nationally and regionally. Uber recognises that listening to their driver partners is one the most important methods to constantly enhance the driver experience on the App.
- UberSAMAAJ, is Uber’s flagship driver community engagement program to encourage driver partners to share their concerns and work closely with them in finding a mutually agreeable solutions.
- Uber announced that “Night Support” for driver partners would be extended from 12 hours (8 AM – 8 PM) to 18 hours (6 AM – 12 midnight) while continuing to offer emergency assistance from 12 midnight – 6 AM
- Programs like UberSHAAN and UberFAUJI help make the platform more inclusive. Uber has also launched a Driver skills training program in partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation.
Uber also partnered with AISECT to pilot a program to create whatsapp enabled modules to teach drivers basic english conversational skills