Uber knows when your phone is running out of battery
‘We do have access to a tremendous amount of data’
Uber knows when the battery on your phone is running low – and that you are more likely to pay higher “surge” prices for a car as a result.
The taxi-hailing app captures a huge amount of data on all its users, and the company’s head of economic research Keith Chen has revealed how Uber uses that to inform its business strategy.
Speaking to NPR’s Hidden Brain programme, Mr Chen said the amount of battery users had left was “one of the strongest predictors of whether or not you are going to be sensitive to surge” – in other words, agree to pay 1.5 times, 2 times or more the normal cost of a journey.
Uber knows whether a user is on low battery because the app needs to use that information to go into power saving mode.
“When your phone is down to 5 per cent battery and that little icon on the iphone turns red, people start saying I’d better get home or I don’t know how I’m going to get home otherwise,” he said.
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