Uber seems to be testing a feature that would allow riders who can wait for a later ride time to get a discount on their rate. That's based on an apparently unwitting recent Twitter post from Uber employee Gregory Jacobs. Tweeting under the handle "@grecobs," the employee shared an image on June 17 which shows an Uber screenshot suggesting that the rider waits until a later time in order to get a better rate. In fact, as shown in the image below, the price was different by just over $2, in exchange for a four-minute longer wait. That leak was later confirmed by an Uber spokesperson has reportedly stated that internal testing is underway with the focus on precisely that kind of feature. In short, the company is exploring ways to offer more affordable rates for customers who are okay with waiting for a later pickup.
However, the news doesn't appear to have been quite ready for primetime yet, with Jacobs' account later being set to private. For those who don't use the social network, that disallows anybody from viewing posts from the account or the majority of information about the account-holder. The tweet itself was also deleted but had already been archived. That seems to imply that the social media share was outside of what Jacobs was technically allowed to share. The company's response indicating that the tests are still very much internal seems to at very least suggest that the figures shown in the leak might not be entirely accurate. That's not surprising since very few apps maintain features from start to finish but it does mean that the numbers shown in the image may be best taken with a grain of salt.
In the meantime, it's not immediately clear how the later time is able to save Uber money in order to allow for a lower rate. It may simply be a way for the company to reward those it views as being patient, and therefore more likely to be calm and polite customers. Additionally, there is an added convenience to drivers since they can effectively take their time in getting to their next pickup instead of needing to hurry. Furthermore, it would certainly garner favor amidst the company's many recent blunders. While speculative, taken in combination, those things could effectively save the company in terms of turnover as well as customer and driver satisfaction. In fact, there may be other genuine benefits aside from all of that, although the whole enterprise may turn out to be unworkable for Uber.