How Uber Manipulates Its Drivers Using Psychological Tricks
That same uncontrollable urge to keep binge watching Netflix shows is what keeps Uber drivers on their shift—and it’s based on a similar algorithm, too.
The riding sharing service alerts drivers of fares in the area before they even drop off their current passenger, a similar technological feature to the one used by Netflix that researchers suggest promotes binge-watching.
Like most tech companies that generate large amounts of data, Uber hired a slew of behavioral and data scientists to gain insight from their user-generated information.
To keep enough cars on the road to sustain demand, Uber came up with the pre-emptive alert, a new report by The New York Times suggests.
The company has experimented with game-like incentives to keep their drivers working longer, even when it may be less lucrative for the person behind the wheel. For instance, to exploit people’s goal-setting tendencies, drivers will often get an alert when their earnings are reaching a particular target.
Uber told the Times that there’s no manipulation involved and “the decision whether or not to drive is 100 percent theirs.”