Your complaints about speeding and reckless Uber drivers might soon be silenced, the company says, as they have developed software within their app to track negative driver behavior.
Ha ha, who am I kidding, you will still find something to complain about, as will I! But here's the deal: According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is rolling out an updated version of the app used by drivers "to dozens of cities during a test phase this week." Part of the update, they report, includes a post-fare "summary of how smooth their driving was for each trip, including separate scores for acceleration and braking and a map highlighting the physical location of each incident."
It will also monitor "harsh braking, which can be an indicator of unsafe driving like tailgating or simply losing concentration and failing to react early to changes in traffic," according to CNet.
When drivers exceed the speed limit, the app will also notify them "in real time," because who doesn't want their driver receiving on-screen notifications WHILE THEY ARE SPEEDING?
According to the Associated Press, the app will also measure phone movements that "may indicate the driver is clutching the phone while steering." If the app detects such activity, drivers will get an alert reminding them to stash their phone in a mounting device.
To test that tech, "Uber may also send passengers an email or text, asking if their driver was holding the phone."
The test will run for two months in nine cities, but only half of the company's drivers will get the new software, "so the company can compare their behavior with the half that don't receive the notifications." During the test period, drivers won't be penalized for any errors the app notes, but Uber says they might use its monitoring functions to manage low-scoring drivers in the future.
The goal, says Uber, isn't to immediately prevent erratic driving (passengers who feel they are in danger should hit the app's "help" button, they say), but to "help drivers become better at their jobs and give them feedback that is more detailed than the five-star ratings customers leave for each driver."
At least one Uber driver, Mikeal Gibson of San Francisco, appears to welcome his new app overlord. "I've heard that the only reason [customers] give people less stars is for poor driving and bad behavior," he told the Wall Street Journal, "so delineating those two would be useful."