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How to Navigate the Uber Driver App in 2020

By: // Updated: September 17, 2020

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The Uber app may be your go-to platform when you need a ride, but when making money is your goal, the Uber Driver app is the tool you need.

Developed by Uber Technologies, Inc., the driver-facing platform is central to the brand’s independent contractor experience. Instead of just turning on driver mode in the brand’s primary ridesharing or food delivery app, you’ll be able to work off of a mobile application that’s completely catered to you. The platform is uniquely built for driver needs, complete with unique features that can’t be found on customer-facing platforms.

While you’ll have the most driver-friendly interface possible, this uniquely built platform may also come with a small learning curve. Through this article, you can get to know how the Uber Driver app works as we highlight many of the key features you need to know.


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What Is the Uber Driver App?

The Uber Driver app is the mobile application that all of the company’s rideshare and delivery drivers use to manage trips, earnings, and their driver account. Regardless of whether you’re an UberX driver, Uber Eats courier, or something in between, this is the platform you need to newly familiarize yourself with — even if you were a rideshare driver in the past.

While Uber has offered a driver platform since its early days, the current application is actually quite different from what it was just a few years back. Starting in mid-2018, Uber completely overhauled its old driver platform in favor of a new driver app — the one that all contractors are using today.

Created based on the feedback of real Uber drivers, this new app includes many of the features that the company’s driver-partners have long asked for. Thanks to this, you’ll have a platform that’s truly built for you.


Uber Driver App Features

Although it’s easy enough to accept and cancel rides because of its clean user interface, it has a ton of additional features which are useful but may not have been explained thoroughly during a new driver’s onboarding session.

Overview:

Home Screen

Once you download the app and log into your account, the home screen is the first thing drivers will see. It contains the following:

Map with SURGE Areas

This is a basic map that tells drivers which areas are currently experiencing SURGE pricing. Different locations in the map are filled in with varying shades of yellow, orange and red. These are areas where there is an increased demand for drivers.

When you drive towards any of these shaded areas, you will start getting ride requests. Accepting ride requests in SURGE areas results in extra income. However, unlike the rider version of the app, this won’t tell you how much competition is present around you. For that, you will have to log into your Uber passenger app. Drivers should be careful not to go in areas that already have a cluster of drivers; this will lessen their chances of booking a ride.

If you click on the lightning bolt icon present on the top of the map and zoom into any of the shaded regions, you can see which surge multiplier (1.3x, 1.5x, 2.2x) applies to the base fare of which area.



Uber Destination Filter

Destination filter allows you to receive trip requests only from the route leading to your destination (like your home). Sometimes when you are going somewhere specific, you might feel like giving a few rides, without changing routes, for quick extra cash. This app filter essentially allows you to set your app to only take rides going to or near a destination you specify. It’s great for getting one more trip in before going home!

Uses are limited to twice a day, and regardless of how many trips you make along your way, it will only count as one destination use, unless you change the destination.

When this feature is turned on, your number of incoming requests will decrease and the time between each request will be spaced out a lot. Even if you aren’t providing any rides but have a destination set, the app will automatically give you the turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Feel free to turn this off by tapping on “Hide”

Go Online

If you haven’t been getting any bookings in a while, you should check to see if you’ve gone online. All you have to do is swipe the toggle button on the top of the app to the right.

If you are still unable to go online at all, it might be happening for a few reasons. Ensure that your documents are not expired, you aren’t driving outside of the city you signed up for, you’ve upgraded the app, and your account is not frozen due to a complaint report or accident. Network issues or having your location turned off can also prevent you from going online.

Announcements Tab

Important announcements go here. These could be Uber-wide or location-specific announcements about upgrades, driver benefits or helpful articles. Drivers should keep an eye on this tab, so they don’t miss anything!

The Earnings Tab

The Earnings Tab is where Uber drivers can keep track of how much they’ve earned so far. It displays the payment by weeks, days and even trips. The payments showed are estimated net fares, which means it’s the amount you will make after Uber and other operational fees get deducted. It might not exactly match with your final payment statement.

The graphs displayed in the earnings section shows your earnings by weeks. When you tap on the earnings of any week, it should break down by day.

Trip history lets you see how much you made in your recent trips, and with Pay summaries, you get a detailed breakdown of how much you made in any given week, day or trip.

Every Monday drivers get an email notification to your email address with the pay statement, and the earnings get sent to your bank account via direct deposit.

Promotions

It contains announcements for upcoming time-sensitive special opportunities like one-time incentives or incentive increases. However, it doesn’t list all the active promotions. Drivers should check the Uber social media accounts and any of their Uber-related Facebook groups for details on promos.

The listed promotions and offers differ by the city, and it will change every week. So if there is a specific offer you are looking for and you don’t see it listed, check back later.

Invites

Uber has a referral program that rewards drivers when they refer new users to their platform. This section will contain your driver referral link, and when your referral registers for an Uber driver account, they should use this code.

This is also the section where you will be able to see how far along your referrals are through the process of signing up, and how much bonus you will receive if they successfully sign up and complete a specific number of rides. The bonus amount varies by city.

If you find one of your referrals stuck on a step, you can send a personal email from within the app asking if they have any questions that would help make their sign up process faster and easier.

Related: Uber Driver Referrals: How They Work and How to Use Them

Trip History

Here’s an important tab to keep an eye on. This tab lists a driver’s trip history including the rider’s name, their destination, SURGE pricing, and the driver’s earnings. Drivers can also report errant riders through this tab, or open up a trip-specific dispute with support.

Pay Statements

This tab contains a summary of all payments received. It’s a good place to keep track of payments to make sure they line up with your records.


Downloading the Uber Driver App

It’s easy to download the Uber Driver app on your mobile device, as long as you have a compatible smartphone. You either need an Android that runs on Android 5.0 or newer operating systems, or an iPhone that runs on iOS 11.0 or newer.

If your smartphone meets this requirement, you can head to the App Store or Google Play store, then tap “Get” or “Install” to download onto your device.

Once you have the Uber Driver app downloaded, tap “Sign in” to log in with an existing account. Alternatively, you can tap “Register” to start the driver application process, though it may take up to a week before you’re fully approved and able to explore the app.

How to Complete Uber Requests

Once you’re logged into your Uber Driver app, you can start planning out your trips and completing requests on your own schedule. We’ll explain how to do so on the platform.

Planning Trips

Before you officially start your work day, you can first head to the “Trip Planner” section of your driver app to see the earning opportunities ahead of you. Simply tap on the arrow icon, located on the lower left-hand corner of your homepage, and your Trip Planner will fill the screen.

This unique feature allows you to see your potential earnings by the hour, based on real-time information. This is also where you can find any promotions you’re currently eligible for, so you can maximize your earnings.

If you ever want to update the types of requests you want to accept — for example, if you want to stop receiving UberX requests and focus on high-paying Uber Black trips on high-demand holidays like Valentine’s Day — your Trip Planner is the place to go. In this section, you can update your “Driver Preferences” and select or deselect trips based on what you’re eligible for.

Another easy way to plan your day? Use the heat map on your home screen to see where demand is highest, so you drive over and take advantage of surge pricing.

Accepting and Completing Requests

When you’re ready to get requests, just tap “GO” on your home screen to show Uber that you’re available. As long as there’s demand in your area, you should start receiving requests soon.

When you receive an offer, you’ll see where you’re headed and how much you’re earning upfront. If you find your guaranteed earnings to be worth the estimated time, you’ll have 15 seconds to accept the trip. Once you do so, you can use Uber’s in-app navigation to get to your assigned pick-up location. However, many drivers choose to switch to third-party navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps, as there’s no set route you need to take.

Upon arrival at your pick-up location, make sure to verify your rider’s identity or confirm that your food order is correct before you continue with the rest of your trip by sliding the prompt in your Uber Driver app. This will allow you to start navigating to your assigned drop-off location.

Once your passenger drop-off or food delivery is complete, slide the trip completion button on your app screen to rate your customer and continue getting more on-demand requests.

At any point during your trip, you can contact your customer on the current trip page to give them updates or clarify details about a pick-up.

Some trips may be slightly different. For example, UberPool trips require more than one pick-up and drop-off location, while airport trips usually have specific instructions regarding waiting, pick-up, and drop-off areas. However, the basic process will remain the same and your Uber Driver app will provide all the prompts you need to complete trips successfully.

Managing Earnings

Keeping track of how much you’re actually making is easy on the driver app. Just tap on the fare icon on your home screen and swipe right to see your earnings. You’ll see details about your base trip earnings, your tips, and even any toll fees you’ve received reimbursement for.

If you need to update your bank account information before your weekly direct deposit, just tap on your Uber Driver app menu on the top left corner of your homepage, then select “Payments.” You’ll be able to fill in your account details as needed.

If you want an immediate cash transfer, you can select your “Earnings” tab from the app menu instead. Here, you can tap “Cash out” to transfer your earnings to a linked debit card for a 50-cent fee.

Getting Driver Support

When you run into a problem while driving or catch an issue with your payments later on, the Uber Driver app makes it easy to get support. Just tap on your app menu and select “Help” to pull up frequently asked questions that may resolve your issue right off the bat.

If you still can’t find the answer, you can actually contact Uber via phone call by scrolling further down on the Help page, tapping “Call Support,” and starting your call. The driver support team is available to chat with you 24/7, which is a huge perk of working with Uber.

Alternatively, if you have a problem with a specific ride or delivery, you can select “Trip Issues and Adjustments” on the Help page to submit a report. This is the best place to report an accident on the Uber Driver app, as the driver support team will be alerted and reach out to you for details in a timely manner.

In some cities, you’ll be able to schedule in-person appointments at your local Uber Greenlight Hub through the Help section of your app, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know how to navigate some of the most important features of the Uber Driver app, you can manage your ridesharing experience with ease. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you better understand the rideshare driver app:

1. How do I find my star rating on the Uber Driver app?

Uber drivers can find their current rating by heading to their driver profile. You can reach this section by tapping on your menu icon, then tapping on your profile picture. The star rating you see is an average of your most recent 500 ratings.

Your driver profile section will also display any specific feedback and compliments you receive from customers.

2. What happens if I lose my data connection while using the Uber Driver app?

As long as you’ve accepted a request, you can still start trips at your pick-up location and end trips after you’ve dropped off your rider or food order, even if your internet connection cuts off. You won’t get new delivery or ride requests until you reconnect, but you can rest assured that you won’t lose the trip you’re currently on.

3. Do Lyft drivers use a separate driver app?

Yes, all Lyft drivers work off of the Lyft Driver app. This platform shares many features with the Uber Driver app, allowing contractors to easily complete trips and navigate the rideshare experience. Like Uber’s driver platform, the Lyft Driver app runs on Android 5.0, iOS 11.0, or later operating systems.

4. Can I contact Uber outside of the Uber Driver app?

Uber offers plenty of options for drivers to chat with trained Uber employees. You can contact the company for support through Uber.com or visit the Greenlight Hub closest to you, if in-person support is preferred. If you don’t necessarily need responses directly from a team member, consider the help.uber.com page for Uber partners to look up your issue.

5. My rider left an item in my car. How can I contact them?

While you can’t contact a rider directly, following your trip you can use the Uber Driver app to report items left behind, along with other issues that may occur. You can do this in the “Help” section of your app.

Use Your Driver App With Ease

The Uber Driver app provides a unique experience especially built for rideshare and delivery drivers like you. The platform may require a bit of getting used to, but after a bit of exploration and the completion of your first trips, the in-app navigation should make complete sense. As one of the earliest driver apps in the gig economy, this mobile platform definitely makes earning money easy and more accessible.

Want to learn about another driver app that you can start earning with? Get our complete guide to the Amazon Flex app to make money with package and grocery deliveries.

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