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Like opening an Apple product: Here’s what Uber sends new drivers (Video)


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to become an Uber driver? It’s not a very magical transformation, but there’s a hiring process involved and they send out a pretty cool care package as well. Well, we were able to get a hold of an Uber driver starter kit and thought it would be neat to share the experience…

In case you’re not familiar with Uber, it’s a ride sharing or alternative taxi service available in many different locations around the world. With Uber, all you need to do is download the app and request a ride based on your location. I’ve used Uber countless times while traveling and the experience has been great.

Like I mentioned, we were able to get a hold of Uber’s driver kit and thought it would be interesting to take a look at. When you get hired as an Uber driver, there are a few tools you’ll need to make the job easier and thankfully, the company has got you covered.

Check out the video below for a closer look:


First off, the packaging is surprisingly great. The presentation made it feel like I was unboxing a high-end product. Very Apple-esque. The first thing you’ll find is an “Uber Driver Guide” which will get you up to speed on using the “Driver” app and best practices when picking up customers.

Next up, you’ll get an iPhone. In this box, we were presented with a 16GB iPhone 4s, but it may differ for everyone. Uber also left a small welcome card next to the iPhone. In some areas, Uber includes a “driver light” that can be stuck to a car window, but due to laws and restrictions in certain areas, this package didn’t come with one.

Finally, you’ll find a small accessory kit. It’s nothing special, but inside of the kit you get an auxiliary cable, dual-USB car adapter, 6 ft. 30-pin to USB cable, and even a dash/windshield mount for the iPhone 4s.

Uber driver accessories

Uber driver accessories

Speaking of the iPhone, that thing is locked down. Uber is using special profiles to disable most of the iPhone’s features, but you are left with a handful of stock iOS apps. Unfortunately, you won’t find the App Store, iTunes, or Safari as they have been hidden and restricted. Also, even though the Phone and Messages apps are available, they aren’t functional. I’d assume that these restrictions are in place because Uber wants its drivers to do their job, instead of play around on the phone.

The only app you’ll actually need on this phone is called, “Uber Driver.” This is the app that you will use to conduct all driver business with Uber. Once signed in and “live,” you will be able to accept rides as they are requested from customers through the driver app.

Overall, there’s nothing magical or amazing here, but this isn’t something you see every day and we thought it would be interesting to share. If you’d like to find out more about Uber, you can visit the company’s website or download the app available for free on the App Store. Currently, Uber is giving out $30 in credit for new customers, find out more details here.

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  1. Eli Matar - 9 years ago

    Ha (cough cough).
    “It’s not something you see everyday”.
    It’s all we see. All day. Everyday.
    Beats by Dre.
    Samsung Galaxy line.
    Windows Tablet.
    Whistle Activity Monitor (for dogs)
    Shine by Misfit.
    Products from my jewelry company.
    Fire Phone.
    What are you talking about?

    • Randy March - 9 years ago

      Buying things everyday? Or just working in retail? :-p

  2. Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

    From what I’ve heard, Uber is an awful company with absolutely no sense of right and wrong and is rapaciously destroying the competition and dominating the market using extremely underhanded tactics.

    I wouldn’t want to associate myself with a company like that and I certainly wouldn’t buy anything from them.

    • Max Mars (@devianter) - 9 years ago

      you heard it wrong

    • Arthur Peña - 9 years ago

      As a Lyft driver, id say you’re right. Uber has done some seriously shady things to try to overtake the competition. Fuck Uber.

      • ryancmayer - 9 years ago

        Like what? Please be specific so I can decide which to use and not use.

      • thejuanald - 9 years ago

        You mean charge less money and have a much better experience than any cab service I’ve ever used? Yeah, so underhanded! How dare they use the free market.

      • Max Mars (@devianter) - 9 years ago

        Of course he means that. Just because somebody else is doing better than others, doesn’t mean they’re bad and shady and are taking away your job (well, technically they are, but hey, free market). Here in italy cab drivers are boycotting and shit, but they charge like crazy. I once was charged 15euro for a 3km drive from the station to where i live. I mean, cmon. Cab drivers enjoyed their monopoly for a while, now bite the competition

      • thejuanald - 9 years ago

        @Max, yeah, seriously. In NYC, cabs are ridiculously expensive, the drivers drive incredibly dangerously, and the cabs themselves are usually disgusting. The cab companies were having a fit here about it. Uber is leaps and bounds better.

      • It will only be a matter of time before Uber is held in the same regard as the TAXIs are now. I am both driver and consumer. From the consumer end – it is simply amazing. Cheap, reliable, like having a private driver.

        From the driver end – my background check involved ZERO face to face interaction, it involved ZERO phone interaction. I applied, and was actually surprised when I received a phone in the mail a week later (for the record it came in a cardboard box without the neat box in the video. Oh, and the car adapter chargers burned out in 1 day each).

        The commissions used to be good. You would get A base, mileage, and time. And for a while, an incentive fare of $1 per ride. One week i did about 1,000 in fares working about 20 hours on Friday and Saturday. Seems like good cash. And it was.

        But then… they started complicating things. Within three weeks, here is what they did:
        1. Device fee – despite saying on the website “it costs nothing to drive for Uber” they charge $10 per week to use a device that is quoted above “on lockdown.” The fee is not congruent to the amount of fares, so if you take 4 rides per week, you pay the same as someone taking 200 rides a week. HMMMMM… this seems like it will squeeze out your passive driver (who in my experience, do the best job) and only allows for full time (who are defected taxi drivers). Nice job on that one.

        2. Commission jockeying – this summer, Uber cut fares 25% to users. Awesome. It also paid the driver based on what the pre-discount would be. In other words, a $20 fare now costs $15, and uber would still pay 15% of the $20 to the driver, or $17. So they lost $2 per transaction. Completely stupid and senseless cash outlay for the company.

        Now, they permanently reduce fares 15%, and got rid of the discount. As a result, the $20 fare is now permanently $17, and Uber takes $2.55 and the rest is for the driver (14.45). But it gets better – Uber also increased the commission from 15% to 20%, so that same payout on the once $20 fare is now going to net the driver $13.6. The rider experiences very little impact. A $15 fare goes up to $17. No big deal. But the drier experiences a reduction of $3.40. Small amount on the individual level, but significant in the aggregate.

        3. Tipping. Did you know that your fare does NOT include a tip? Uber has done a bang up job of destroying this conception that you tip drivers. They make you think that it does, but go to the website. It says that it is not included, nor expected. Why – uber doesn’t give a fuck if you tip because they haven’t found a way to get their grubby meat hooks into the tip. It also may change the characteristic of their whole company – remember, were not TAXIs, were “ride sharing.” Thats why tipping can be per-calcualted in your Uber TAXI fare, but not UberX or any other equivalent.

        So yea, from the consumer end. Great. I can take an otherwise $20 cab ride and do it with uber for $7, not tip him or her, and call it a day.

        Here is a good sample of how much an Uber driver makes. Yesterday I drove for about 1.75 hours. My fares were $29 for 3 rides. Assuming that is all I could do that week, here is how much money I would make:

        Income – $29.00
        Less Commission – $5.80
        Less Mileage (15 miles @.56 federal mileage rate) $8.40
        Net income – $14.8
        Fica Tax (15.2%) – 2.25
        Income tax (20% marginal rate) – 2.96
        Net income after taxes – $9.59
        Per hour $5.48

        Now, if the 3 people I drover were human beings and tipped $3 per ride, my net payout would be closer to $10 per hour.

        Oh, i forgot, uber also charges $10 per week for the device, so my $9.49 net profit is really a loss of .41., unless I go out and drive some more. Thanks UBER.

        “If you aren’t making money, then stop doing it.” Yes, this is the conclusion that many smart people are doing. Enough people will stop doing it – the part timers, the “good” people, and you will be left with a corps of defected TAXI drivers. Good luck with that.

    • scumbolt2014 - 9 years ago

      From what I’ve heard on some city’s the local taxi and cab compnies got Uber cock-blocked so they can keep gouging their customers. So who’s the lesser of 2 evils. A new company creating new jobs and saving the public time and money, not to mention safer for females, or the taxi cab companies that are being underhanded to the other company AND their customers.

    • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

      To clarify my comment, Uber plays hard ball with the competition and has been caught doing underhanded things like phoning up the competition to order hundreds and thousands of “rides’ only to not show up at the time. Even some of the top people have been caught red-handed doing this (ordering thousands of rides they don’t need from the competition).

      After they were caught, they promised to stop, but kept on doing it anyway. My guess is that it’s a real hard-ass “bro” culture over there.

  3. Jordan Rocque - 9 years ago

    Damn, I only got an iPhone 4 and only about half the stuff they included and it was all just thrown in a clear plastic bag when I started a few months ago. Getting all fancy now…

  4. Scott Mindeaux - 9 years ago

    Uber is really picking up here in The OC. Experience of Uber riders and drivers here has been, for the most part, positive.

    My UBER welcome kit wasn’t anything nice like that. Mine had the same contents but placed in a brown re-used box with no internal packing material and everything was loose in the box. I emailed my local office to say that my kit was just items placed loose in a box and got an “oh well, sorry. we’ve been really busy…”

    I want a nice box… :-) j/k

  5. Michal Prokeš - 9 years ago

    Did anyone notice the “4G” connection? iPhone 4S doesn’t have LTE support, could this be some special version of iPhone?

    • DrewWilken - 9 years ago

      iPhone 4S shows HSPA+ as 4G even though it doesn’t have true 4G LTE. It’s been that way since 2012 IIRC.

  6. Ronald Junna - 8 years ago

    As an Uber driver I will tell you this stuff works… for about a week. I drive a fair bit not just for uber but for my full time job and for vacations. I use the Rokform mounting system and cases. They are not bulky claw style crap that would otherwise make my car look like some teenager owns it. Their mounts are higher end, low profile and discreet so when I am not needing to mount nobody even notices them. if you want to check them out.