Embracing multimodality, Uber pioneers ride recommendations

For the first time Uber will make contextual and personalized suggestions on the best way to get from point A to point B. Start-up now offers more than just cars, and is beginning to understand the advantages and disadvantages among users. prices. Speed, comfort and comfort in the midst of its multimodal fleet. Most notably, you will now see that JUMP bikes get excellent turnover right next to the other Uber vehicles . Is it a short distance and there is a bicycle loaded nearby? Uber will suggest you pedal. Could you need additional luggage space on your way to the airport? UberXL and SUV will appear. Always take cheap pools? It will not show you a more expensive black car.

Uber is finally becoming smart. You have to do it if you are going to make sense of your growing mosaic of travel types without overwhelming the passengers with too many options. The Uber algorithm can help you choose. "We believe that there is much to be gained by being a one-stop shop to get somewhere," says Uber product manager Nundu Janakiram.

Uber now dynamically recommends different types of handling

In particular, Uber could block interruptions by scooter-specific start as Spin, Bird or Skip. If those applications do not have vehicles nearby or you are going to go very far, they have nothing to offer. However, Uber can provide an Express Pool at a competitive price when there is no outdoor walk available, while convincing current UberX users to try a bicycle or a scooter for quick trips when there is a lot of congestion thanks to their new estimates of internal traffic.

Product Manager of Uber Nundu Janakiram

Previously, you would get a static set of three travel options from the price class you booked last, regardless of your destination. Meanwhile, bicycles and scooters were buried in the sidebar of the Uber burger menu or an awkward lever at the top of the screen. The company has not done a good job either in communicating the definition of Select (better cars of normal size) or Express Pool (walking and waiting for a discount).

Now the Uber home screen can choose the most relevant travel suggestions of all kinds of prices and types of vehicles according to the duration of your trip, the type of destination and your personal travel history. Along with better explanations of the different options, this could make users experiment with ways they had never tried before.

To accommodate more recommendations, the Uber Pool option will be developed to offer both Pools and Express Pools. Uber will even tell you better vehicles like Black or XL cars if UberX is increasing to the point that their prices are similar. If you want to compare all options manually, you can touch to see a list with all the specifications and prices aligned.

Beyond the driving recommendations, Uber is moving the address bar to the bottom of the screen so that it is closer to your thumbs (which is great as phones grow). Finally, in the coming weeks, Uber will add a dynamic message bar to the center of the home screen. Here, depending on your pick-up and return, you can show instructions to call from an airport, a discount offer, a birthday message or just a friendly "Good morning".

Finally, Uber hopes to integrate public transport tickets, such as through its partner Masabi, car rental and even multi-stage trips in its recommendations. Maybe a JUMP bike for the train, then an UberPool that waits to take it to its final destination is faster and cheaper than any other mode. If you are looking for an Uber for more than an hour, it could cost you less to rent a car through your GetAround partner and drive on your own. And if a scooter is by far the best trip for you, but all Ubers are rented, you could recommend one of your partner Lime.

A new communication box is coming to the center of the Uber home screen

Uber data show Users are rapidly adopting the multimodal future. One study found that the introduction of JUMP bicycles in one city led to a 15 percent increase in total Uber + JUMP travel, even though the use of Uber decreased from 10 to 15 percent.

Even if Uber is sometimes cannibalized by recommending cheaper options, it is a smart long-term strategy. Janakiram laughs that "If we wanted to optimize revenues, we would not have shown UberX, Pool and Express Pool for the first time for all users in recent years." The lifetime value of users who share travel is so high that it is worth losing a couple of dollars here or there to prevent users from being diverted to multimodal competitors such as Lyft. Retention will be a key metric under scrutiny, as it foresees an IPO of 2019 at a potential valuation of $ 120 billion.

"The big picture is that we want your phone to replace your personal car," concludes Janakiram. "If we want to be a true transport platform, we must be in all the places where our passengers must also be. The right trip for the right context, and what is the right trip for you. "

[Disclosure: Uber’s Janakiram and I briefly lived in the same three-bedroom apartment 5 years ago, though I’d already agreed to write about the redesign when I found out he was involved.]