Lyft, Sidecar, Uber, ride hailing companies are disrupting the taxi industry and proving popular around the world.
People love the convenience of calling for, and paying for, a ride in an app. That is, until you're on the phone trying to figure out why your ride says she's there but all you see is an empty street and a guy named Bob eating a chicken wing.
So here are five ways to make ride hailing smoother.
1. Put in your destination. Not all ride hailing apps require this but there are two advantages to doing it anyway. One, you can get a fare estimate and two, it saves you having to explain the address to the driver.
2. Call the driver if you have quirks to your pickup. Gated community? Apartment complex with a security guard? Standing in front of the ice cream shop in a huge mall? Don't make them guess. Call! Your driver won't see your actual number but they'll still know it's you.
3. Don't trust the pin! Ride hailing apps will suggest your pickup location based on GPS or drop a pin where they think you are. These are estimates. Always put in an exact address — either yours or the nearest business.
4. Check ahead for special pickup locations. Concert venues and airports are likely locations where you can save yourself time and frustration if you find out where you'll need to be before you request the ride.
5. Make sure your pickup location is safe for the driver. Don't expect your driver to block a busy street or bus stop. Walk a few steps and put that as your location.
Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, covering the most important tech issues of the day with the smartest minds in technology.