Uber is launching its latest product called Express Pool that asks commuters to walk and wait at a pick up spot. With the new feature, Uber probably wants to change to the current model that covers direct routing, by replacing it with simpler pickups and fewer deviations from the route for both drivers and riders.
In the Uber Express Pool service, when commuters hail a cab, they will be asked to walk to a nearby spot or wait a few minutes before the trip starts. It will work in the same way while dropping off. This will help Uber's algorithm to go through nearby locations, drivers, and other riders to optimise the route by covering the shortest distance possible, so that a higher number of riders can benefit.
Ideally, the new feature will ensure that most riders in the same cab, head to a common area. When the ride ends, the commuters will be dropped off within walking distance to the actual location. Uber, on its Help page, says, "Spots change based on popular routes at the time you request. You'll see walking directions to the best spot."
In return for the extra effort, riders can travel by paying up to 50 percent less than UberPool and 75 percent less than UberX, The Verge reports.
Interestingly, Uber is not the first service to offer low prices for less convenient pool rides. The Uber Express Pool feature is similar to Ola's Ride Express in India, that lets users share cab rides on fixed routes.
Notably, Uber Express Pool is the company's first product in over three. It is reportedly rolling out in the US, in cities like Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Diego. San Francisco and Boston have had the Express Pool since last November, the Verge adds.