Three things to know about your Uber Driver...

During my transition from Uber rider to Uber driver, I have learned a few things that I hadn't noticed in my prior role.   Had I known them I would have had a better understanding of the process, and thus I would like to share them with you.

1.  Your driver doesn't know your destination when he or she picks you up.

Contrary to what I believed, when your driver arrives at the pick up location he or she does not yet know your destination.  As a rider, I had always taken care to be very accurate when entering my destination, being precise with an address and adding or pinning a business (for instance, Hilton Hotel at 100 East Main Street).   I always figured I was doing my driver a solid by giving him some detailed information so that they could formulate a route as they were headed in my direction.   As a driver, I have learned that when I am pinged for a possible pick up, I only find out these things:  the rider's rating and the miles to where the rider is awaiting pick-up.   I don't get a destination or name.
Upon accepting the ride, I get the rider's first name and I get navigation to the pick-up point, but still no destination.  It is only once I am there to pick up the rider and slide the green bar in the app (beginning ride) do I get the destination and navigation.   Based on information that is available in App, I may get an address but no business name.   I have learned that the reasoning behind this is that some drivers could choose to decline rides that are certain distances (too long or too short) or to locations that they deemed inconvenient.   Multiple drivers declining trips would result in longer wait times for riders which is a losing proposition for everyone.    Some drivers prefer not to do short trips that net the minimum trip fee ($3.00 in my geographic location).  Some drivers prefer not to do long rides because of perceived dead miles returning to the area after drop off.
I mention this so that you aren't surprised when your driver confirms your destination.  The driver does this for two reasons: The first is to confirm that the driver is connecting with the right rider.  This is particularly important in busy locations at prime times.   But the driver is also genuinely confirming your destination for their own confirmation since they themselves have just been provided this information.

2. It may be hard to see you!

The driver is not provided your picture or other identifiers.  At night or in busy or tight locations it can be difficult to find you.  Also, I have had several instances where the "pin" in app was fairly accurate but certainly not overly precise.  The international signal that you are waiting for an Uber is to stand on the sidewalk, looking left and right, and frequently looking at your phone :)   Seriously, that is always my best bet.  

3.  I like to talk and will provide area information.

However, I won't relentlessly talk your ear off....unless you signal to me that you are ready to chat.   I drive to earn extra income, but I also enjoy the opportunity to meet new people.  I try to read the body language of my riders.  If you have earbuds in when you get into the car, or seem very occupied with your phone or a laptop I will take the hint and leave you alone unless you ask a question.   I do ask each rider if they have a preferred route or if I am okay to follow GPS.  A few minutes into the trip I will also ask each rider if the temperature in the car is okay.    I have usually been in the car for a long time and adjusted to the temperature but the rider may be coming in from unkind conditions and want more heat, or coming in from the heat wish for more A/C.  I'm happy to oblige because I want my riders to be comfortable.
I genuinely love to talk about my city and enjoy recommending restaurants, coffee shops or parks.  And, I love to hear about you and your hometown.  So if you are a talkative rider, you will have a friend in me.
I share these three things because I realized that they are helpful in ensuring an enjoyable trip for the rider and driver.   Being a driver has helped me to become a better rider when I travel and am on the other side of the transaction.  I hope you find these helpful and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.  Just drop the into a comment.
Ride on!