For some people, taking an Uber can be a bit of a gamble, much like hoping a taxi meter's rates won't murder you at the end of the ride. Well, Uber is tweaking its price mechanism and instead of the usual 'estimates' is instead just going to give you an upfront price.
The upfront price will also take into account surge pricing (if any). Usually, riders will see an estimate of pricing, within a certain range. For some, a guaranteed price for a destination can either be a lose or win depending on where you're going and when you're making the ride.
Any changes that are made during the ride, such as a new destination, will be updated into the ride estimate. Say you're going from Point A to Point B, but instead decide to go to Point C, the fare will be adjusted accordingly. The benefit to riders is that if your driver takes questionable routes, gets lost or other delays happen, the fare will still remain the same.
While some riders will welcome the addition of what amounts to pretty much a flat quoted fare instead of an estimated range, it might give some pause for thought.
Uber has been implementing new features lately, including the option to pay cash as well as incentives for driver such as an option to allow passengers to hitch along a ride to a certain destination. It's not surprising that Uber is tweaking the way it's showing its rates to customers, but whether it will be beneficial or detrimental to Uber in the long run remains to be seen.
It has only been implemented in a few cities in the US so far, with no word when it will be rolled out to other countries. But it's been standard Uber procedure to test new features in pilots in a few countries first instead of doing massive roll-outs.