Uber Has a Mobile Game to Stop Drivers Getting Lost
It's a gripe often heard among Uber users: the driver doesn't appear to know the best route. To fix that, the taxi app has an interesting solution – a new mobile game, called UberDRIVE.
The game gives the company's "driver-partners" practice getting riders get from A to B. They "earn high scores for identifying the safest and most efficient routes to their destinations," according to an Uber blog post.
And it's not just available to Uber drivers - anyone can have a go, although the game, which is based on Google Maps, is currently only available for San Francisco.
"Throughout the gameplay experience, we've integrated educational elements to help enhance city knowledge," Uber said.
The game gives players facts about a city's most important landmarks, as well as trivia questions that ask users to point out a particular destination on the map.
Players who take more efficient routes get higher scores and those who consistently earn high ratings will be able to "unlock" new cars and explore new areas of the city.
The app may help Uber's drivers improve their knowledge, although many still rely on Apple Maps on iPhones to navigate – an app that has been heavily criticized for its user experience.
To remedy this, Uber is focusing on developing its own mapping system as part of the research center it opened up earlier this year in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh.
In addition, The New York Times reported that Uber has also put in a bid for Nokia's HERE mapping system, but is competing against major automakers from Germany.