Where are all the rideshare drivers? It’s time to rethink how companies onboard drivers

As people think about what the ‘new normal’ means, there’s an opportunity for businesses to also rethink how onboarding drivers can be a key moment to success.

If you’re starting to rediscover your favorite places around town, then you may have also discovered that rideshare fares are much higher than you remember. What’s happening behind the scenes of that ride that cost 2X more and took twice as long to arrive compared to before the pandemic?

People are starting to feel safe and request more rides as they go out again, but there aren’t enough rideshare drivers to meet the requests since many stopped driving at the beginning of the pandemic and haven’t returned. As a result, riders are faced with higher prices and longer wait times, and rideshare companies are strapped to recruit more drivers to quickly rebalance the supply of drivers. This isn’t a problem that only rideshare companies are facing either – other gig platforms like peer-to-peer carsharing and delivery have similar challenges to keep a consistent supply of drivers as their demand increases.

But what happens if the urgency to increase drivers also means ending up with reckless drivers that cause a lot of accidents and expensive claims? As everyone rethinks what the ‘new normal’ means for them, there’s an opportunity for businesses to also rethink how onboarding drivers can be a key moment to set themselves up for success.

And the answer may already be at their fingertips. Most gig platforms use a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) to look at a driver’s violation history as part of the review process. While this is a dependable method to identify drivers that have been reckless in the past, looking at the history only does not indicate who will be better drivers and provide more value to the company moving forward.

However, if we analyze that same violation history further, we could generate predictive insights on the driver’s likelihood to get into accidents and what their claims will cost. Generating these predictive insights at the same time of reviewing a driver’s history can help the company make strategic decisions upfront and proactively address questions like,

What’s the right amount to incentivize drivers?” “What kinds of pricing tiers should I set up to rent these vehicles?” Or, “What kinds of coverage do I need to require drivers to carry?

Taking a predictive approach to onboarding can help gig platform onboard more drivers, providing customers with more rides, vehicles, and deliveries at faster turnaround times and reasonable prices.

To learn more about smarter onboarding solutions, visit arity.com.

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Arity is a mobility data and analytics company. We provide data-driven solutions to companies invested in transportation, enabling them to deliver mobility services that are smarter, safer, and more economical.