In this post, we're going to break down some of the data from our first month, and take a look at the requests we couldn't fulfil.
When a user makes a request, we show the request to one driver at a time. Each driver has ten seconds to accept or decline before it automatically moves on to the next driver. If no drivers accept within ten minutes, the ride is automatically cancelled, and marked as "unserviceable". This duration, ten minutes, is known as the timeout.
In this chart, you can see the number of unserviceable rides, along with the number of rides cancelled by users themselves. Note the exceptionally high cancellation rate on the first weekend – this was caused users eager to try out the new app.
Based off this chart, we can tell that our timeout must be too high. Rather than users cancelling themselves due to the wait, it would be better for the system to cancel it before it gets to that point. As well as helping us detect driver availability issues, this prevents users feeling like their requests are sent into the void – even though the ride couldn't be serviced, they know why, rather than waiting with no feedback.
As part of this research, we updated the app to display different status text as the time waiting for a ride increases. For example, after 30 seconds waiting, the status text changes from "Looking for your ride..." to "Still looking for your ride...". While this might seem like a small change, it reassures users that something is actually happening in the background.
Clearly an important metric is the length of time users are willing to wait before cancelling, so we charted this next, excluding rides cancelled within ten seconds.
From this, it's clear that users are willing to wait ~2-4 minutes for a ride. As a result of this research, we've reduced the timeout to five minutes. While this is still higher than the average, it will be a good first step towards more transparency in the request flow.
As we see more drivers join the platform, we'll continue to reduce the timeout, with our goal being three minutes. With each driver having ten seconds to accept, this timeout gives us time to show each job to 18 drivers. This might seem low, however jobs are only shown to available drivers, so it's unlikely that all 18 drivers would decline a job.
If you'd like to start driving using Goto, you can signup by downloading the driver app here, or by searching "goto driver" on your device app store.