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Old 03-01-2019, 07:04 AM
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 100,403 times
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As a regular Lyft and Uber rider since 2015, one issue see more than like, is the failure of the driver of the car to find where I am to be picked up on occasion. Examples:

1. Just as recently as this week, requested a Uber ride from a store in a strip mall type shopping center, the Uber app asks me to confirm my location which was the name of the small business I was at which has only one entrance. Uber driver arrives sitting at the other end of the shopping center parking lot when I texted her the name of the business I was at and she arrives there.

2. Last month, again with Uber, at medical office building where handicapped parking is poor, but the building has two entrances, one on 1st floor out front (we were at) and another on the 2nd floor on the back side (building on a hillside). Immediately after requesting the ride, texted the driver the entrance where we were at giving a description. He arrives at the other entrance. If it just me, I would have hopped on the elevator, but my elderly mom with a walker, that is slow going. I called the driver to let him know he was at the wrong entrance, and with his limited English, he could not understand. So got mom going slowly and myself through the small building on the elevator and met the driver where he was at. Uber charged a wait fee, but got that reversed due to the circumstances. Lyft too, has not been without their GPS pick up issues with multiple entrance buildings, but less often in my experience than Uber.

3. Was at a local rail station with a semi-underground pick up lot just over two years ago. If you are local to Northern Virginia, this is the Wiehle-Reston north side garage. I requested a Uber ride, its a 25 degree day with winds at 25 mph, so trying to stay protected from the bitter cold. I texted the driver upon requesting the ride, but upon arriving he is sitting somewhere outside the large building. Apparently, he was not familiar with the area, as I left voicemail and then talked with him upon his arrival on a street nearby and could not get him to understand. So I cancel the ride through the app. Uber automatically waived the cancel fee in the app with me selecting the reason if I requested another ride. So being rush hour, and with frequent 10 minute bus service from there (buses in same pick up/kiss and ride lot area and level) to Reston Town Center Transit Station where waiting room inside from the cold and met the 2nd Uber driver there just outside the door.

** The GPS pick up issues are another reason we are not ready for driverless cars. ** So how do you communicate with a machine and GPS driverless car that it is at the wrong pick up spot. Will it understand text messages? - probably not. If at a business, an idea is to have physical signs outside the business's one or more entrances which the driverless car can see (perhaps later can do with lights), and have the app ask if you are at one of those locations (THIS could have avoided the situations above), and then ask if your destination if you know has such a sign, and then a driverless car can be assigned to your trip. If not, a human driven car is still assigned. For most residences, unless it is a high rise with one or two entrances where signs can be placed where the driverless can see, the issue is yet more complicated. For example, Google Maps on a residential street with houses, the entire block is evenly divided into sections (odd numbers on one side and even on the other assuming 100 houses in the block, unless you submit a correction for your house address. There are nine different GPS systems in the US https://www.gps.gov/support/user/map...ices-and-maps/ with links to submit corrections. I have done for my home using Google Maps and Waze with my Android and took a few weeks for it update and works with those Uber/Lyft drivers who uses those apps for navigation. But I do not have a Tom Tom or an iPhone to update with Apple for those systems.

Any other thoughts or ideas to improve the pick up and drop off GPS points currently from Uber or Lyft passengers or drivers, and any insightful tech minds for driverless cars?

Last edited by sprklcl; 03-01-2019 at 07:14 AM..
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:16 PM
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
12,598 posts, read 14,753,436 times
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I have not once ever had GPS issues using Uber. Seriously, not one.
Maybe it's your phone?
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:10 PM
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 100,403 times
Reputation: 113
Android LG flagship phone is new 5-6 months old and update app software each week. Believing the driver's phone is partially at fault, especially for example 1. For example 2, the distance between the two points is less than 60 feet, but separated by an elevator, so could possibly be a GPS accuracy issue. Uber also has a proprietary internal text messaging app, so if your text message about your pick up point is more than a few lines, it scrolls past without the driver seeing it one Uber driver told me.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:05 AM
14,782 posts, read 6,120,915 times
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I don't think rideshare drivers are sitting at the wrong entrance or far side of the parking lot just to get under your skin. I know from picking up friends that one's description of where they are at can be a lot different than it looks from another point of view. And with people walking, cars maneuvering, signs everywhere, fire lanes, pedestrian crossings, etc. it can be constraining on where you just pull up and wait. Maybe the driver needs a moment to get their bearings.

But I do think driverless rideshare will be more difficult than many think. I think there will be a lot of reluctance among many users so you'll need an option to request a human driver or reject a driverless ride. And given that option, why take the chance of dealing with what you describe and trying to communicate with a driverless car? The same issues with describing pickup will occur with dropoff or an unexpected need to make a stop. I think it will need to be significantly discounted such as UberX is $30, UberA(Autonomous) $22 for a given ride.
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