Uber snags headlines with delivery cute kittens or delicious food — but never before has the transportation app released a mobile game. The game is called UberDRIVE and its aim is to showcase "a day in the life of an Uber driver-partner."
In a blog post announcing the game initiative, the company says:
UberDRIVE was designed as a fun and engaging resource for our driver-partners to hone their navigation skills if they choose to. It’s also a great way for prospective drivers to experience firsthand what it’s like to drive with Uber –– there are links to sign up and start the screening process from directly within the game.
Throughout the gameplay experience, we’ve integrated educational elements to help enhance city knowledge. There are fun facts for the most important landmarks in the city and a simple trivia mode where riders quiz players to point out certain destinations on the map.
This is an interesting development that could signal a shift in the approach the company takes to improving its distributed workforce. It also suggests how some companies in the on-demand workforce segment might start training its itinerant workforce. For example, Airbnb works diligently training hosts through materials and real-world events like its Airbnb Open.
Or, others might say that Uber has finally reached its "peak valuation" of wasted capital. If there's so much money sloshing around in the system, shouldn't they be focused on driver retention rather than training new drivers? Perhaps better driver pay is the way to go.
Whatever the perspective, the pursuit of non-traditional methods of training within the familiar mobile gaming ecosystem is certainly going to be watched by many. The app will be rolled out nationally soon and can be downloaded here.