Uber has introduced a new feature that allows customers to book a ride up to 30 days in advance, along with the option for flexible pick-up times, as the tech company adapts to changing consumer needs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For an additional fee, the new Uber Reserve feature aims to provide more certainty for passengers and additional predictability for Uber drivers, the company said on Sunday.
"The pandemic has transformed how people get from point A to B and magnified the importance of reliability," said Rifad Mahasneh, general manager for Uber in the GCC and Levant.
"More riders have turned to scheduled rides to plan their days more efficiently, and that's why we think it’s the right time to introduce Reserve."
The ride-hailing tech company said it had adapted its business model during the pandemic to meet the changing needs of consumers.
"Uber Reserve is aimed at riders, individuals and professionals included, who will pay a premium for even more reliability, availability and certainty," Mr Mahasneh said.
Uber Reserve offers features such as an extended 15-minute waiting period and an easier booking process for on-demand travel, the company said.
Economy Reserve offers a "budget-friendlier" price point with Uber Comfort and a five-minute early arrival and a five-minute wait time, it said.
Uber Reserve rides can be cancelled any time up to an hour before the scheduled pick-up time with no costs incurred, and can be booked on the Uber app either through the designated "Reserve" title or by clicking on the clock next to the "Where to?" prompt.
Uber narrowed its loss in the second quarter from the same period a year ago. The company's revenue rebounded but Uber had increased spending to retain and attract riders back to its network.
The company reported an adjusted loss of $509 million before interest, tax and other expenses in the three months to end of June. That was $150m less from the prior quarter but a $328m improvement from the same period last year.