On a research trip to India in 2016 our team made an awesome discovery — some of our partners were hiring drivers to drive their vehicles on the Uber platform, effectively becoming business owners and creating a new way to earn with Uber. As we learned more, it became clear that the biggest problem both the drivers and car owners faced was finding each other in order to start earning. Thus, Fleet Match was born.
Meijie Xia (Design), Alex Bok (Eng), Naina Mathur (UXR), Esther Porte (PMM)
Interaction and visual design, prototyping, product strategy, user research
Fleets are an ecosystem at Uber where a partner owns a vehicle but hires someone else to drive the vehicle for them. In this scenario, we call the partners Fleet Owners and their drivers Fleet Drivers.
The stories we heard from Fleet Owners painted a really beautiful and inspiring story. We heard from an elderly woman in Guadalajara who wasn’t able to make ends meet but found a passive source of income through her unused vehicle. We heard from a single mother in Bangalore who started with one car and reinvested to grow her business to over 30. In some cases, Owners operated Fleets of thousands of vehicles!
As we looked deeper into the Fleet ecosystem we noticed something strange. Drivers would drive for an Owner for an average of 3 weeks and then quit, leaving them in the lurch with no income for a little over a week. This amounted to 3 months of downtime per vehicle which meant there was an opportunity to help Owners make 25% more every year.
Of course, less downtime also meant more vehicle supply hours on the Uber platform. We also realized that the more vehicles a Fleet Owner had on Uber, the more likely they were to add another one. With 25% more earnings every year, their ability to add an extra vehicle would be much higher. If we could solve this, everyone would be better off.
In tandem with my design partner, Meijie Xia, I led a weeklong sprint where we hosted talks with representatives from City Ops in Fleet-majority markets, Fleet Owners & Drivers, and more. We guided the sprint participants through brainstomring exercises and eventually came together around the concept of a dual-sided marketplace where Owners and Drivers could find each other. I pulled together a quick prototype and we went to Mexico City to test it. We held 10 studies and came away with some great insights.
Design Sprint participants going over our prototype
Organizing notes from our research sessions in Mexico City
A speed dating event organized by our Greenlight Hub in Mexico City where Owners and Drivers could meet each other
Drivers in fleet-majority markets are usually not very tech savvy.
Fleet Owners will be frustrated going into the experience because they will have just lost a driver with potentially short to no notice.
More than knowing their Fleet Owner, drivers would like to know which vehicle they will be driving.
Fleet Owners and drivers prefer to live near each other so they can meet easily for payment and vehicle exchange purposes.
WhatsApp is the preferred method of communication in Fleet-majority markets.
Fleet Owners would post their vehicle to a marketplace where Drivers could then browse and show their interest.
Fleet Drivers would be able to post their profile to the marketplace where Fleet Owners could find them and invite them to join their Fleet.