Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Driving and gaining experience, part of Starting Your Career in the On-Demand Economy.
- Okay, so once you've made it through the application process, and you've been approved as an Uber driver, you're free to hit the road and start picking up fares. But before you do so, first make sure you're properly equipped. Since you'll be relying on the Uber driver app to receive requests and follow GPS navigation to pick up your riders and take them to their destinations, you should definitely have some kind of carrier or cradle available for your phone that you can mount in an easily visible place on your dash or windshield. You can find inexpensive mounts online like this one, which attaches to the air vent in most cars.
Additionally, make sure you have the necessary cables and adapters to keep your phone charged while you're driving. You don't want your battery to die in the middle of taking a rider to their destination. So once you've got the mounting and power taken care of, you can hit the road and turn on your app. And here we can see the Uber Partner app on my phone. I'll tap to open that up. Now be aware that Uber updates the driver app pretty frequently. Sometimes weekly, or even more frequently than that. So what you see here may differ than what you see on your own version of the app. Updates are also required, so when you try to go online, you may see a message telling you that an update is available, and you'll be prompted to install it before you can drive.
So I'll tap the Start Driving button to go online. This is the point at which, if an update is available I'll see that message. But if you're up to date, like I am here, you'll next see a regional map with this car representing your current location. As I mentioned earlier, you can optimize your income by not driving around between fares, so you might want to find a parking lot or someplace free to park your car near an area where you can expect rider requests. Now just so you can see what this looks like, I'm going to open up the Uber rider app on a separate phone to request a pickup.
In most cases, requests are sent to the driver closest to the rider, so I should be able to pick up my own request here. So I can make a request for a pickup. One way to do that is by tapping Get Fare Estimate down here. I can search for a location. And I can see my estimate down there at the bottom. And when I'm ready to make my request, I can just tap Set pickup location, and then tap Request pickup here. So once I make that request, it then shows up in the driver app. And through the magic of editing, I'm going to pause time here for a moment.
When you get a request from a rider, also called a ping, you only have a few seconds to decide whether you want to make the pickup. You're free to turn down rides whenever you want, and you can use the rider rating down at the bottom as a guide. A rating lower than four likely indicates that the rider has been difficult or annoying enough that other drivers have given him or her low ratings. But Uber does keep track of how many rides you turn down, and you might not get as many requests if you're always saying no to pickups. One important thing to note here is that you don't get to find out where the rider wants to go until you pick up him or her.
This is basically to prevent drivers from turning down rides based on the destination. It's kind of annoying to not know where you're taking someone, but that's the way it currently works. Okay, but if you want to accept the ride, tap the circle. Now once you have accepted the ride, the rider will receive a message letting them know you're on your way. They'll be able to see your name, location, and your rating. The app automatically notifies them when you arrive too, so you don't need to call or text them. Now we're seeing that I've already arrived, because I'm requesting and accepting from the same location for this example.
You can see down here on the driver app it says Wait For Rider. Rider has been notified. Now after arriving at the pickup location, the rider will get into your car. It's a good idea to confirm his or her name to make sure it matches the name on the request, and that you're picking up the right person. This is especially important in areas around bars or nightclubs, where several people at the same location might have ordered Ubers. After the rider is in your car, you'll be able to swipe the Start Trip button to begin the trip. You can then use the turn by turn navigation by tapping Navigate in the upper left hand corner, or you can ask the rider if they have a preferred route, or you can just drive there if you think you know the best way.
Once you arrive at the destination, you'll slide the Complete Trip button to end the trip. You and the rider will both see the total fare in your respective apps. No actual money needs to change hands. They'll be automatically billed and any percent of your fares will be direct deposited into your bank account each week. After the trip ends, you'll be prompted to give the rider a one to five star rating. If the rider was polite and courteous, give them a five. They'll hopefully do the same for you. Notice that the star rating has popped over here on the right hand side as well.
So we can both rate each other. Now riders can't see what ratings you're giving them, so feel free to rate them honestly. As a driver, you can see your overall rating though. Now once you've rated the rider, you can slide to complete the rating, and you'll automatically be online again, and available for your next pickup. When you're ready to stop driving or to take a break, you can tap the Go Offline button. In some cases you'll be asked to confirm that you really do want to go offline, or whether you want to keep driving. I'll tap Go Offline.
And now I'm offline. So each ride and rider is going to offer you a different experience, and you'll learn the ins and outs of the job the more you drive. Again, be sure to follow some of the tips I mentioned in the previous chapter, to give yourself an edge, and to lessen the learning curve. But the best way to get better at your on demand job is to just keep doing it. All right, so there you have the basics of driving with the Uber driver app.
Garrick Chow explains the basic structures of the on-demand economy and the skills and characteristics of successful on-demanders, so you can determine if on-demand work is the right fit for you. Then learn about the time commitment and expectations around pay, what the employer provides, and what one can expect from clients. Garrick then discusses tools to keep you organized, including how to best track income and expenses.
Finally, the course offers tips and tricks and a case study based on the author's firsthand experience as an Uber driver.
- Preparing to work on demand
- Managing expectations from on-demand clients
- Tracking expenses and mileage
- Optimizing your income
- Getting support online
- Case study: Becoming an Uber driver
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/26/2017. What changed?
A: A new video was added that explains how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for on-demand work.