Uber, as part of its new and revised community guidelines, will start banning riders with low ratings score. This new ratings based deactivation for riders will start being rolled out first in the USA and Canada and it is likely to be rolled out to other parts of the world which Uber operates in over time.
Users who use the ride-hailing company's app get their average rating based on how an Uber driver rated them at the end of each trip.
"Riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below average rating. Riders will receive tips on how to improve their ratings, such as encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit. Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps. Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability. Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do," reads a statement by Uber.
The future is here
What is interesting about this Uber announcement is that it was somehow predicted in one episode of the popular futuristic series, Black Mirror. Titled Nosedive, the Black Mirror episode relates the story of a near-future world where we live and rate each other from one to five stars after every interaction, the same way Uber works. This rating is then used to determine your socioeconomic status and what level of service you can get, or whether you are suspended from services or not.
So far, two things are not quite clear; what specifically constitutes a below average rating and whether or not a banned Uber user will be able to gain their way back into the app and what that would entail.
Uber education campaign
As part of ensuring all riders and drivers are aware of Uber's new guidelines, the ride-hailing company will be launching a campaign to educate both riders and drivers.
"These standards are only effective if everyone on our platform understands them. That’s why we’re launching a campaign to educate the entire Uber community about these guidelines. From in app messages and email to signs in Greenlight Hubs, we’ll get the word out to customers and partners."
This s quite an interesting development although it has always been available for drivers. It perhaps, just like Black Mirror, gives us a glimpse into our near future world where everything from financial services to ride hailing will be determined by your digital rating.