Uber has announced that it's going to make some changes to its UberPool service in Manhattan. The San Francisco-based company said that the updates will improve the algorithms it uses to match passengers and drivers to avoid detours, as well as streamlining the way drivers pick up and drop off their passengers. The updates are intended to make the whole experience less stressful for both drivers and clients. The changes are a result of assessing and implementing feedback from both drivers and passengers and are an update to last year's service changes in New York, which involved requesting that clients walk to a stated intersection for a cheaper service and faster pickup.
Uber says that the new algorithms will vastly improve the way their system works and will now take into account such variables as the direction of travel, helping to ensure that clients are waiting on the correct side of the street for their pickup. Uber also says that as part of the changes, clients will no longer be picked up just before a set of traffic lights. Instead, the pickup point will be arranged on the corner immediately past the traffic lights on the right-hand side of the road, allowing drivers to pick up multiple passengers without being forced to change lanes. The new system will also be more aware of the location of bus lanes as it will no longer allow passengers to be picked up in designated bus lanes. It also has the capability to vastly reduce the number of turns that a driver has to perform during a journey. The number of turns a driver has to perform throughout a journey is a major factor in reducing the efficiency of the route and slowing down travel time- it's thought that by using the new algorithm, Uber has cut turns by around 20 percent, meaning clients will have a faster, cheaper, and more efficient journey.
The way Uber drops their clients off at the end of journeys has also been updated and improved. Instead of giving clients a pre-determined drop-off point when a Pool ride is requested, the system will instead re-evaluate the most convenient drop-off point every few seconds, as the car is getting closer to its destination. Uber states that they hope this will ensure the routes are always the most efficient. The company has not yet confirmed if the changes would be introduced to other areas, but it’s considered likely that clients will see similar updates to the UberPool service in their area.