Cab aggregator Uber is expanding its operations in India considering the fact that the country is a big market for it. With a more user friendly app and new features, Uber plans to make every ride more convenient.
US-based taxi hailing app Uber is reportedly undergoing major makeovers designed especially for the Indian market. The company considers India to be its second most important market outside the US and thus, will be coming up with features customised for the Indian market. The step also comes as part of the plan to increase operations in the country.
The new features being introduced will be on the basis of feedback from regular Uber riders. The additional features will include calendar integration, people search, advance bookings, shortcuts and compare fare with cars. By introducing these features, Uber wants to change the way riders interact with the app.
“There were a couple of things that we did to collect feedback before making the changes. One was on-the ground rider studies, where our engineers were watching rides in action and discussing with them for feedback. Second was analysing rider behaviour from the app and finally, getting feedback from our driver partners,” Prabhajeet Singh, Head – Strategy and Planning at Uber told an Indian daily.
Singh also said that the new Uber app downloads 50 pc faster than the older one and will be more user-friendly. At its upfront, it will show markings like ‘where to’ and make the User Interface simpler. Uber has also come up with ‘Dial an Uber’ webpage, an outside app feature that lets users book rides outside the Uber app. The webpage works well with slower networks and was launched only a few days back.
“Many of the features are unique to India. We recognise that many of our geographies might not have effective 4G network coverage or good 3G networks but we’d want to serve riders at such places as well. The new app has been redesigned to load 50 per cent faster. The second feature is Dial-an-Uber that allows users to book cabs via webpage,” Singh explained to the Indian daily.
The company is also looking at its passengers’ safety, especially women, and has incorporated safety features accordingly. ‘Share your ETA’ will allow one to share his/her location in real time. The app also has a ‘SOS’ option which allows riders to reach a PCR in proximity.
The calendar app is there to keep a track of appointments and meetings, and is compatible with all other major calendar apps.
The ability to book rides directly via phonebook comes with the idea of getting to people rather than getting to destinations.
“People use Uber to get to places, but often it is about getting to people. Therefore, we want to be able to just identify who you need to meet. You don’t need to know their location at that point of time and via two-way communication, the app should be able to seamlessly take you to that person. The idea is it should be a magical experience for the rider, and one which saves time,” Singh explained.