We have all heard of the strange ways Uber has tried to recruit new riders; take a 15 minute ride with an influential CEO or cuddle an adorable puppy on your way to work! These fun and unexpected recruitment tactics have become a staple of Uber’s marketing team and the world has come to love these amusing campaigns. So when Uber announced the latest weapon in their unending effort to recruit new drivers yesterday, we knew instantly we had found our What The Uber moment of the week. However, this time Uber isn’t using lovable animals or delicious foods as tactics, but instead the company hopes to gain drivers through…a video game.
The new mobile game, named UberDRIVE, was created to give players a sense of what it is like to be an Uber driver, with an ultimate goal of getting players to sign up to become real life Uber drivers. According to TechCrunch, the game works like this, “Players pick up and drop off various passengers and identify markers around SF by tapping on an interactive map. Players earn points throughout the game as they accept trip requests in dispatch zones and take more efficient routes. The more points a player earns, the more chances they have to unlock better cars and new areas of the city. Uber has also embedded some fun facts about certain city landmarks and included a trivia mode so players can test their knowledge” The catch, however, is that as you move through the game Uber begins to prompt you to sign up and become a driver. These prompts start right as you begin the game but apparently appear more frequently the longer you play. If a player wishes to become a driver they are able to sign up and start the process right from within the game!
According to Uber, UberDRIVE is also meant to double as a way to teach their current drivers how to navigate tricky city driving, though Uber has announced that they are not making the game mandatory for their present drivers. Our team here at TFF tested out the game and we have to admit it is quite fun (tip: if you drive recklessly you will get pulled over!) but we are not confident this is the best way to teach Uber drivers how to navigate busy city streets. As any taxi firm (especially those well trained black cab drivers over in London) can tell you, the best drivers are the ones with a great deal of real life driving practice.
What do you think? Will UberDRIVE succeed in adding new drivers to Uber’s ranks? Will current Uber drivers play to better their skills? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter!
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