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Uber intros ‘pause,’ discounts, and other quality-of-life features on new driver-focused blog

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/06/2016 Devin Coldewey

The debut post on Uber’s new driver-focused “Behind the Wheel” blog brings with it several features those very drivers may find useful — especially when clocking out.

A “pause” switch lets drivers temporarily turn off new ride requests so they can grab a coffee or take a break. Hitting pause also lets drivers end their day cleanly, with the app automatically taking them off the grid when they drop off that last passenger, rather than making the driver turn down requests while they go.

And with luck, that passenger will be going their way: another new feature lets the driver specify a destination, like home or downtown, and the app will only connect them with riders going that direction. Those trips apparently “do not count for promotions,” perhaps to keep people from just taking rides going where they’re going, essentially having passengers subsidize their commute. (At least, that’s what I’d do.)

Drivers will also receive discounts for when they’re a passenger — but it’s not a flat reduction. They’ll get a 15 percent off voucher for UberX for every 10 riders they drop off, and a 50 percent off UberBlack for every 20 riders. Seems kind of stingy, but no sense looking a gift horse in the mouth.

The new blog should be updated with any new features like this or clarifications on policies affecting drivers, so it ought to be worth following if you happen to be one.

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