It's been revealed that Uber and Lyft users are not being paired with the nearest vehicle.
A report in Mashable explained that a specific algorithm takes in much more than just a rider’s location.
Uber uses something called "batch-matching" to link up a potential passenger with a driver.
Batch-matching does the following: if a vehicle is approximately two minutes away, you may get matched with a vehicle that is four minutes away instead. This then means that someone else may incur a five minute wait instead of a ten minute wait.
The algorithm looks at a whole group or "batch" of potential passengers in a given area and optimises the available vehicles in the area so as to give a more beneficial wait time to the "batch" rather than the individual.
The graphics seen in the Uber app are merely a representation or simplification in relation to driver availability, therefore a rider could be standing right next to a vehicle icon but will not be allocated that vehicle.
Uber initially based its matching on the shortest distance between driver and rider. It then shifted to estimated time of arrival as opposed to distance, before evolving into batch -matching, which began last November.
This system isn't exclusive to Uber, a number of other ride-hailing companies including Lyft have adopted this method of pairing in a bid to keep average wait-times down.
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