Thought leadership

Uber has revealed it is planning to shake up driver ratings so customers will be able to opt for a higher service level as well as a nicer car. Currently users of the ride hailing app rate their journey from one to five stars based on their experience.

But Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the helm last August, said it wanted drivers who were “particularly good” to be rated “at a different level”. He said the firm was “very, very early” on the path to doing this.

“We want to allow the user to opt-in to a higher level of service because right now the only higher level of service that we define is a nicer car… and I think the car and service are two different things,” he said.

It was a rare public appearance by Mr Khosrowshahi, who has kept a low profile since taking the helm of the firm last August.

Speaking in a packed room at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Khosrowshahi said the firm “had to make a break from the past and go forward as a company that does the right thing”.

He is attempting to rescue the firm’s reputation following a sexual harassment scandal, investigations by regulators and a lawsuit over allegedly stolen technology.

Former chief executive Travis Kalanick was ousted from the top role in June but remains a board member. The firm also continues to experience steep losses.

But Mr Khosrowshahi said the fact that an Uber driver could be with you within minutes of ordering and its low cost meant its popularity would continue.

Globally, about four billion rides a year are currently ordered on the firm’s app.

In response to questions about safety, Mr Khosrowshahi said the firm was “doubling down” on background checks and vehicle licences so it could continue to grow.

And he predicted that, even with the advent of self-driving cars, Uber would still need to recruit double the amount of drivers it currently has within the next 10 years.

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