Making deliveries more accurate with improved location information

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Making deliveries more accurate with improved location information

As a DoorDash customer, you should always know where your order is in the delivery journey. Whether the Dasher is on the way to the restaurant, waiting for your food, or nearing your location, the DoorDash app keeps you up to date every step of the way.

In the past, we’ve typically used GPS information from a Dasher’s phone, combined with manual prompts for Dashers to check in when they’ve arrived at a restaurant or picked up food, to trigger these updates along the way. However, we’ve been working to make this location information even more accurate with less manual interaction.

We recently rolled out an update to the Dasher and merchant apps that uses bluetooth signals to let us know when a Dasher has arrived at or departed from a restaurant (the technical term for this technology is “beacons”). Now, if a Dasher has bluetooth enabled on their phone, as soon as they are within 20 feet of the merchant app, the bluetooth signals in the two apps will communicate with one another and trigger a notification to DoorDash that the Dasher has arrived at the restaurant. A similar notification will trigger when the Dasher leaves communication range with the tablet, indicating that they have departed from the store.

Bluetooth signals are much more precise than geo-fencing using GPS and this improved location information has a number of benefits across the platform. For example, more accurate information about when a Dasher arrives and leaves a given restaurant helps us improve restaurant wait times, ultimately allowing us to make better delivery offers to Dashers. Similarly, better estimated wait times help us calculate more accurate ETAs for when the customer should expect her delivery. We also hope to use this information for other features in the future, like improving parking information or requiring fewer taps and swipes on the Dasher app.

It’s important to note that we launched this feature with Dasher privacy in mind from the beginning. While we already use location information from the GPS on the Dasher’s phone, the bluetooth signals are only used when Dashers are close to a merchant app and only while on an active delivery. If Dashers prefer not to provide this enhanced location information, they can simply turn off bluetooth on their cell phone.

We’re excited that this new improved location information will improve the experience for Dashers, customers and merchants alike. Order from DoorDash today and let us know if you were able to notice a more accurate ETA.