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Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Drivers Resort To Apps That Help With Gig Work Info: WSJ

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Drivers Resort To Apps That Help With Gig Work Info: WSJ

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), and DoorDash Inc (NYSE: DASH) drivers are flocking to a wave of apps tailored for better functioning gig work, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What Happened: Gridwise Inc's app, which collates drivers' earnings across platforms, noted more than twice downloads in May Y/Y. The app had over 140,000 active monthly users.

Driver Technologies Inc's dashcam app saw over ten times downloads in the same period. Around 33.33% out of the 50,000 active monthly users were likely gig workers.

The downloads of the apps outstripped pre-pandemic levels as the U.S. reopened amid regulatory prioritization of workers' rights.

The surge in downloads occurred despite a nationwide driver crisis faced by the ride-hailing companies.

These apps were free, and most earn revenue by selling location data and insights to city planners and insurers.

Uber and Lyft pioneered on-demand gig work and did not directly employ those workers. While many drivers want to remain independent, they also want more information on compensation, better tools to maximize earnings, and guidance on managing issues like wrongful terminations or complaints.

DoorDash improved its couriers' experience and has struck partnerships with companies that offer discounts on automobile repairs and assist with tax preparation.

Uber's partnerships also help drivers with taxes. The company had a guidebook for new drivers and virtual tutorials that can help them navigate issues like complaints and accident claims.

Lyft endorsed the third-party apps, which offered a more holistic view of someone's activity by aggregating information from multiple platforms. It delivered drivers with earnings and other data.

Why It Matters: Lawmakers in the U.S. and away have sought to reclassify ride-share and food-delivery drivers as employees to force companies to build more support infrastructure. The companies won some cases and lost others.

Uber and Lyft log only the miles during a ride. Driver's Seat app downloads doubled this May compared to February 2020. Around 2,000 drivers use the app. The app offered a more accurate picture of drivers' mileage by recording their time driving to pick up passengers. 

Gridwise co-founder and former navy officer Ryan Green, who subscribed to some 30 services offering the information like weather conditions and airport traffic and sending that data to drivers, came up with the idea for Gridwise.

The app tracks events in over 80 cities. Drivers can see their combined earnings across platforms by linking each of their accounts to the app. The company has raised $5.6 million from venture-capital firms, including Switch Ventures.

Los Angeles-based gig worker Ben Valdez preferred Gridwise, which kept him informed about significant events and tracks his activity across platforms. The Driver-like dashcam app was meant for drivers with an extra handset because it overheated their phone.


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