Uber to allow customers to order better drivers

Uber plans to give customers the choice of selecting a better rated driver. (Reuters)
Updated 23 January 2018
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Uber to allow customers to order better drivers

LONDON: Uber is planning to offer its customers the ability to opt for a better driver when booking their trip, according to the ride-sharing app’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said that currently customers only have the ability to request a better standard of car via their app rather than a better standard of service.
“We plan to do much more with driver ratings. What we are hoping to take the system into next [is ]… to be able to have the drivers who are particularly good, who particularly provide a terrific service be at a different level from the average driver, and also allow the user to opt into a higher level of service.
“Right now the only higher level of service we define is a nicer car, and the car and service are two different things,” he said.
His comments come as the ride-sharing company faces criticism for not doing adequate background checks on drivers following a number of high-profile cases where some drivers have been accused of assaulting their customers.

Concerns about safety have in part led to the ride-sharing service being banned from operating in some cities. Uber lost its license in London last year, a decision the company is in the process of appealing.
Khosrowshahi said: “We are doubling down on making sure that the machinery of background checks and making sure that licenses are good, inspecting the vehicles,” he said.
“We don’t mess around with ratings, so when you get a 4.8 or 4.9 rated driver you know they have passed an array of background checks, you know that driver has a history … that is much more information than you have when you hail a cab on the corner in New York City.”
He added that it was important to be careful in representing a driver rating for what it is.
“It is rating for how you drove, it is not a rating about whether you are a serial killer or not. We have to be plain spoken for what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said.
He added that the company was working with data scientists working to make the platform safer for both riders and drivers.


Angry Birds maker Rovio posts sharply lower quarterly profit

Updated 52 min 52 sec ago
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Angry Birds maker Rovio posts sharply lower quarterly profit

HELSINKI: Rovio Entertainment, the maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game series, reported a sharply lower quarterly profit on Friday due to declining revenue from its 2016 Hollywood movie, but said sales at its games business were growing.
The Finnish company, which listed its shares last September, reported second-quarter adjusted operating profit of €6 million ($7 million), down from €16 million a year earlier and roughly in line with market forecasts according to Thomson Reuters data.
Total sales fell 17 percent to €72 million while the games unit grew 6 percent to €65 million.
Rovio reiterated its full-year outlook, which in February wiped 50 percent off its share price. The company expects total sales of between €260 million and €300 million this year, against €297 million in 2017.