In London, taxi drivers have to take a course of study, famously called, The Knowledge. At the conclusion of the course, they have to prove that they have memorized every single street in London! It’s a four-year course too, by the way! It’s like going to college or getting a graduate degree in London streets!
Can you imagine doing that? I can’t. And thankfully, we don’t have to! Because we have a thing called GPS. However, there can be no doubt that the more we know about our city’s streets the better off we’ll be – even with GPS. GPS with no knowledge of your city’s streets will not make you an elite driver. But, it will get you by until can learn something more about the streets yourself.
If you know your city well, you’ll still want to use GPS because they all provide traffic information. You may know the streets, but you won’t know the traffic! They’ll know the traffic and route you around the worst of it. So whether you know nothing about the streets of the area where you’re going to drive or you’re an expert – you will and should use GPS either way.
How Does GPS Differ Between Uber & Lyft?
GPS differs pretty significantly between Uber and Lyft. And they’re both constantly making changes to it. At the current time (mid-2018), both apps will let you choose to use your own external GPS program. Or you can use their built in navigation system.
Here’s where a big difference between the two companies comes into play. If you choose to use Uber’s built in app, you’ll be using their own proprietary navigation program. And, it’s terrible. With Uber, we’d definitely recommend choosing Google Maps or Waze.
With Lyft you have the choice of opening navigation in the Lyft app or outside of it. If you choose to open it inside the app (which we recommend), it will actually run Google Maps. Because Lyft doesn’t have their own proprietary navigation system. Which actually gives them a big advantage over Uber because Uber’s is so bad.
So, with Uber, you can choose, Google Maps, Waze or the Uber app. With Lyft, you can choose Waze, but it will open externally to the Lyft app (which basically means it’ll take a little longer to get up and running). Or, you can use Google Maps within the Lyft app. Running Google Maps inside of the Lyft app works really well because it’s very tightly integrated with Lyft and instantly processes all directions based on passenger input and any changes that might occur along the way.
To choose your navigation provider in the Uber driver app, just tap into settings and tap Navigation on the next page.
GPS navigation. This is one of the most important things you have to know how to master as a rideshare driver. Now, we are not like taxi drivers in the UK who have to memorize entire cities.
That’s one of the beautiful things about rideshare. There’s a small barrier of entry you can just jump right in and start driving. All you need is GPS system and know how to use it well.
Even in a city you’re very unfamiliar with, you can do pretty well. Now, should you know your city? You absolutely should if you want to be an elite driver because there’s going to be things you’re going to be able to see and know that the GPS cannot mimic and cannot compete with.
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So, you should learn your city but until [then], you can master GPS. And even if you know your city well, you still want to use your GPS. Now, GPS is integrated right into Uber and Lyft.
Now, Uber has its own GPS system that’s not ideal but Lyft doesn’t. And what you’ll do is you want to go to Account to set this up, go to Settings, Navigation and you can pick your favorite app that you want to use.
The moment you click “Go” after you picked up your passenger, it will open up and send in all the information which is really nice you don’t have to menu and log in and it’ll send all the Google Maps and Waze.
Now, I recommend Google Maps for the most in case. And here’s one of the biggest reasons why. When you’re driving in a place that you’re unfamiliar with especially when you have to go to a big juncture in the highway, Google Maps is super helpful because as you can see it will show you at the top middle there are five lanes here.
In the middle one is the one you want to take and you want to veer right to a little bit. I love that, super, super helpful because it’s showing you exactly which one to take while other ones will tell you just the name and will give you the top left which is not very helpful.
If you see the top left, it just shows you the street and “take a right”. And so this one is really, really helpful when you’re looking at different junctures that you’re not familiar [with].
Here’s another example. You got to go left, there’s four lanes. Really, really helpful because taking a wrong turn is one of the worst things you can do.
You can redeem it but it’s one of the worst things you can do and it really frustrates passengers. I would also say that if you were to use Waze, I would only use Waze if things are really busy and you need to deal with all the different changes of construction or if there’s [an] event going on.
Waze is going to be quicker to find that at. Now, what Waze is for, [for] those of you guys aren’t familiar. Waze is a social app. And so if you’re driving and you hit a road where there’s a road closure, you can actually mark down there’s a road closure.
And when you mark that road that’s a road closure, you’re able to then…it immediately goes up on to Waze and other people are able to see it and then it will reroute for them. So it’s really really nice thing.
Now Waze has been bought up by Google so it’s integrated into there but Waze is going to reroute a lot more and if you drive Waze, you’re contributing to a smarter route and it’s overall good for drivers.
Now, so I recommend Waze when things are crazy and you want to make sure you’re rerouting because Waze will reroute a lot quicker than Google will.
Even though Google knows some of the same information. In my experience, I think Google lags a little behind. So Waze has been my number one this summer because there’s been a lot of construction due to the Super Bowl.
Now, I’m going to answer one final common question and that’s, “Should you listen to passengers when they give you suggestions?” I would say yes and no.
So, for the most part always listen to your passenger. If they say, “Oh, turn here it’s a better turn.” Do it. If they say, “Oh, there’s been construction here. You actually want to take a left here.” Listen to them because they’re paying you. You’re serving them.
This is a service job. Sometimes they do know better than the GPS and sometimes they don’t. And that’s okay. That’s okay. Now, the times where I would say no is if let’s say you’re driving and they say, “You know there’s a turn here [that] you want to take.” And you say, “Oh. You know what? You’re probably right. But I’m looking at my GPS…” and let’s say you look in your GPS with kind of look for example and you say, “You know there’s a traffic jam right over there. My app is reporting. Do you mind if we go this other way?”
And you know what 9 out of 10 times they’ll be like, “Oh man. Thanks for telling me that.” It’s just the way you say. The way you communicate to them if you reject them and make them feel small, man, they’re going to give you a low star rating, no tip.
But if you say, “You know what? I’m looking out for the best interest.” If you show them you’re looking out for their best interest, man, that goes a long way.
And so you should listen to them normally but if they don’t know that there’s something going on that they couldn’t know like a car accident or something like that then graciously inform, “Hey, would you like for me to still take that way? I’m seeing on the GPS that something is going on there.” All right.
So hopefully that’s helpful. Practice GPS. It’s super important to nail it down and use it when you’re just driving on your own so that when you have a passenger it’s very seamless and you don’t even have to think about it.
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