By O’Yoma Ukueku – Greenlight Operations Manager, West Africa, Uber
As a young child, I was always fascinated with the inner workings of technology, and what one could possibly achieve through it. How was my battery powered train set operated by remote control? What was this “engine thing” that seemed to be located within my toy cars? And the people on the radio and television – how did they get in there? And what made it possible for us to see and hear them so clearly?
As I grew older and began to connect the dots, I realized a couple of things – that technology was designed for processes to run more efficiently. I also realized that for human beings – incorporating technology into everyday usage increased productivity, and I saw how this had a positive impact on everyday life, businesses and communities.
In my role as Greenlight Operations Manager for West Africa – I’m constantly criss-crossing the region; especially Lagos, Abuja, Accra and Kumasi – cities where the Uber Greenlight Hubs are located. The Greenlight Hub is a dedicated support centre that provides drivers with established channels of communication to raise individual questions and concerns that they may have relating to using the Uber App. At the Greenlight Hubs, driver-partners are offered information sessions, tailored workshops focusing on training and skills development such as safety tips, crime prevention and financial tips.
Potential driver-partners are also assisted at the Greenlight Hubs through the onboarding process. In my recent interactions with them, one theme that has come as consistent feedback is their reaction to the newly launched Uber driver app. For many drivers using the app globally and in West Africa there’s a general consensus that the new features provide an improved experience on the road and allows them to use the app more efficiently whether on the road or off. Thus further highlighting my long-held belief and understanding that technology shapes not just processes, but ensures an improved level of efficiency.
So one might ask – what are the exact features of this app that make it better? For one, the new driver app has been made to be less complex and complicated to allow drivers to focus more on driving. It also provides them with real-time updates on market conditions around them and opportunities for more trips nearby. They can also choose to navigate to such nearby with just a tap.
Also included in the app (and perhaps of great importance to the drivers) is an earning tracker that allows drivers to know how much they earned in their previous trip, to allow them to track their progress toward their financial goals. At Uber, we remain committed to creating business and economic opportunities for driver-partners and we are always looking at ways in which we can make their experience more memorable and continue to stimulate their growth as small business owners.
Earlier this year, Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi penned a blog post announcing the launch of the new driver app. According to him: “the new driver app was redesigned because we wanted to simplify the driver experience and the underlying engineering architecture that supports it. We knew we couldn’t take the approach we’d taken in the past: redesign the app based on what we thought drivers wanted, launch it, then hope for the best. Instead, we needed to listen to what drivers told us they needed, and shape the new app alongside them.”
Improving the overall experience of using our app for driver-partners remains one of our key priorities. And as such, that is why the technologically enabled Greenlight Hubs will keep improving customer service and driver support. The new driver app will benefit driver-partners in West Africa, primarily by making them more efficient, with improved efficiency means they will make more trips and ultimately more earnings. I remain excited at the possibilities and opportunities, that Uber, through technology makes available to its 9,000 active drivers in Nigeria and 6,000 active drivers in Ghana. With these new features in the app, we are ensuring that drivers and riders benefit from a seamless experience.