Lyft launches Driver Console in latest app update

New dashboard allows drivers to check passenger demand, real-time earnings, and more

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
June 14, 2016
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Parallel to the arms race to gain the most customers, Lyft and Uber also have to compete for the favor of drivers.

To that end, Lyft today announced the launch of Driver Console, a set of features made available to drivers in the company’s newest app update.

The main new feature allows drivers to check passenger demand without turning on driver mode. Going into driver mode basically compels the driver to start accepting rides, even if they’re in an unfavorable area where there’s low demand. If the driver declines rides, the app’s algorithms count that against them. Using this new feature, drivers have more information to decide if they want to drive now or find out where the high-demand spots are.

Another new feature allows drivers to check their earnings in real-time. They can also see how close they are to qualifying for the "Power Driver Bonus," which requires that the driver be using a 2011 model vehicle (or newer) eligible for the program, meet the ride requirements outlined in the "Driver Dashboard," and maintain a 90 percent acceptance rate. The bonus, according to Lyft, has allowed thousands of Lyft drivers to increase their earnings by up to 20 percent.

In addition to these features, Lyft’s new Driver Console includes alerts about local promotions, events, and new Lyft app features. The console also makes it easier for drivers to refer passengers and drivers to the app.

The company writes:

“We’ve heard from drivers that one of the best ways to earn more with Lyft is to drive with a strategy. So we designed our latest app update to help you do just that. Now you can see passenger demand, real-time earnings, incentives, and more, in one convenient place — the Driver Console.”

Today’s updates come a week after Uber unveiled a host of new features intended to gratify its drivers, including "Driver Destinations," "pause requests," fees/payments for prolonged waiting times, an expanded partnership with Green Dot Corporation, the revamping of Uber Greenlight for support, and more perks.

Updates on the consumer side of both apps have also been rolling in.

Yesterday, as part of Apple's various tech launches at WWDC, the company announced it would be opening up its voice assistant, Siri, to third-party developers. Both Lyft and Uber have confirmed that they would be integrating with the Siri SDK so that customers can order a car with a simple voice command. Apple suggested that Didi Chixuing, Uber's chief competitor in China, would also be integrating.

And, a couple weeks ago, Walmart revealed that it is piloting partnerships with both Lyft and Uber where its grocery customers can place their order online, select a delivery window, and then have their order delivered by a Lyft or Uber driver. While Uber had previously experimented with these kinds of extensions to its service, the announcement marked a first of its kind for Lyft, which has traditionally stuck to its core ridesharing service.

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