Uber technologies Inc. is a multi-modal transportation service company. The US based company is the one of the world’s most valuable most technology startups. Uber continuously offers new features to improve its services. As part of its efforts to improve user experience, Uber launched a PIN based taxi pickup feature in May 2019.
Where it all started:
Uber’s PIN based feature was developed in 2016, mainly to ease congestion and improve pickup times at high-volume, high-density event venues.
Since then, Uber has used this feature in more than 60 events across the world. The list includes the Kentucky Derby and a Formula 1 race in Australia.
The cab hailing company first tested this service in an airport at the Bangalore International Airport.
What is Uber’s new PIN based pickup feature?
Starting from Monday, 13 May 2019, Uber will start rolling out its PIN based cab hailing system at the Portland International Airport. The Portland International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.
It sees around 400 Uber pickup requests an hour at peak time. Uber plans to provide users with a one time six-digit PIN once they book a cab from the airport. The users can then provide this PIN to the first available Uber cab to start the ride.
This results in a virtual taxi line, replacing the traditional system where users have to find a specific Uber cab assigned to them. Uber aims to reduce congestion, eliminate confusion and speed up pickup times with this new feature.
Portland is the first airport in the US to partner with Uber to test this new feature. Uber’s competitor, Lyft has also rolled out a similar feature at the Portland airport. Lyft uses a four-digit PIN code for its feature.
How Uber’s Pin Based Feature Works:
- Once users book an Uber ride on their app from the Portland Airport, they will receive a six-digit PIN code from the app.
- Users must now make their way to the designated Uber pickup zone at the airport. They must join the queue waiting for an Uber.
- Drivers, who have received a pickup request from the airport, make their way to the pickup zone.
- This creates a virtual taxi line, wherein users can avail the first taxi that is available to them.
- Users must avail the first available cab in the zone. Drivers too, must pickup the customer who is first available to them.
- Users must provide their six-digit PIN to the driver. The driver enters the code into their app and the trip starts as normal.
- Uber, however, recommends that users conduct the standard driver and vehicle verification checks before starting the ride.
How It Is Different From the Existing System:
Currently, users have to verify their designated vehicle by checking the driver details and vehicle number. This becomes quite difficult and time consuming for both the driver as well as the rider in congested places like airports.
This is because in these locations, hundreds of cabs are present, searching for their designated rider. This leads to a lot of confusion, thus making it a hassle for both drivers as well as riders.
The new feature will thus enable riders to avail the cab that is first available to them, making it much easier to use the Uber app.
The Uber PIN feature is ready to be introduced at other airports in the US as well. Uber sees a lot of potential in introducing this system at congested places.
This includes sports venues, music concerts, festivals and public events. However, Uber has also stated that it may not introduce this PIN based cab hailing system at every airport, since it believes that there are few advantages to retaining the traditional system at some locations.