The ridesharing marketplace is constantly changing. We develop technology to manage its dynamics so Uber can continue to create a healthy balance of opportunities for both riders and drivers.
We’ve built tools and algorithms that monitor driver availability and rider demand by time of day, location, and product type (e.g., UberX, Pool, Black). We correct imbalances and pricing estimation errors, and strive to prevent them in the future. For example, before a concert or sporting event, we may plan for an increase in trip requests ahead of time. Tools like Hourly Trends in the Driver app offer timely alerts about anticipated demand to help drivers take advantage of these earning opportunities.
Another way we work to prevent future imbalances is by offering drivers promotions that help them earn extra. They can do this by driving consistently (Quest), and at times when riders need them most (Consecutive Trips). With enough drivers on the road at the busiest times and places, riders can count on a reliable network to get where they need to go.
Sometimes rider requests spike in ways we don’t expect. Surge pricing automatically goes into effect to correct the marketplace imbalance. During surge, the higher earnings are designed to draw more drivers; riders can wait for prices to fall, choose UberPool, or pay a premium to request a ride immediately. Uber uses various tools intended to maintain a healthy marketplace and avoid surge because during surge rider demand goes down and there are fewer trips available for drivers. We work to maintain marketplace health so that this rarely happens.
All information on this site pertains to US markets. Many of the features described here do not apply or are not available in markets outside of the US. Last updated November 28, 2018.