How Uber Uses an Algorithm With Psychological Tricks To Keep More Drivers On Road

To keep drivers on the road, Uber has exploited some people’s tendency to set earnings goals — alerting them that they are ever so close to hitting a precious target when they try to log off. Consider an algorithm called forward dispatch that dispatches a new ride to a driver before the current one ends. Forward dispatch shortens waiting times for passengers, who may no longer have to wait for a driver 10 minutes away when a second driver is dropping off a passenger two minutes away. Perhaps no less important, forward dispatch causes drivers to stay on the road substantially longer during busy periods — a key goal for Uber.


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