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Uber adds more detail to its maps for smoother pickups

Uber adds more detail to its maps for smoother pickups

When you get back on the Uber app (it’s been a minute during the pandemic), you’ll notice some improvements to the map from the ride-hailing service.

The biggest update will be at pickup points. Passengers will more clearly see whether your pickup pin is on the left or right side of the street. For drivers, it will also be more clearly laid out, so they know where to expect the passenger to be waiting and can drive to that point. Before, the pin would often drop in the middle of the road. 

Both passengers and drivers will also get more detailed location points. Instead of just giving the address as, say, “100 Main St.,” the black box on the top of the app will give landmarks or nearby descriptions. So it’ll look something like, “Pickup near Starbucks at 100 Market St.” instead.

A less confusing pickup with ‘City Hall’ instead of just the street number.

While working on these changes, Uber identified the hardest pickup spots across the U.S. These are places that have longer-than-expected wait times or where the pin usually falls in the middle of — or the wrong side of — the street.

Some of the most difficult pickups that Uber has worked to improve are: 

  • Cloud Gate (aka the Bean sculpture) in Chicago

  • Jefferson Square Park in San Francisco 

  • Loews Regency Hotel in New York City

  • Sherman Circle in Washington, D.C. 

  • Westchester Shopping Center in Miami

The pickup pin is more clearly labeled.

The pickup pin is more clearly labeled.

A confusing pickup spot in D.C.

A confusing pickup spot in D.C.

These updates are rolling out to all U.S. drivers and passengers by the end of the month to make pickups less confusing and to cut down on wasted time – and avoid that dreaded phone call between driver and passenger trying to find each other.

Uber is also working on a few other map improvements for drivers, including navigation guidance optimized to pick up passengers based on whichever side of the street they are waiting. 

Another long-awaited maps update for drivers is alternate route options. Currently drivers are given one set of directions and that’s it. By later this year they’ll be presented with several routing options with similar ETAs. Soon drivers can pick their preferred way to get somewhere. 

Welcome back to ride-sharing, everyone.

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