Uber for Business uses machine learning to tackle challenges of "bleisure" trips

Uber's enterprise-facing business is also adding other tools and new integrations for smoother business travel


Millions of employees from more than 65,000 organizations use Uber for business travel, and there's a good chance most of those people also use it for personal trips. Business travelers often forget to switch from their business account to their personal account when using the Uber app, according to the ride-hailing firm -- particularly with the rise of "bleisure" trips that mix business and leisure.

The company is using machine learning to address this problem, with the introduction of profile recommendations -- a feature that suggests whether a traveler should use his personal or business account (and the corresponding payment method) for a particular trip.

Also: Why Uber and Lyft are actually making your morning commute worse TechRepublic

The feature was built by analyzing billions of Uber trips at the aggregate level, the company says. It expects employees to accept the feature's suggestion 80 percent of the time.

For those times an employee still incorrectly uses his work account, Uber is rolling out tools for a more seamless resolution. First, businesses can now assign anyone to review an employee's trips. When a trip is flagged, users can now resolve the issue from within the app, rather than via email.

Uber for Business also has a number of new integrations for easier travel. Later this month, it will be the first ground transportation option integrated with SAP Concur Locate, a tool for tracking employees when they're traveling to keep them safe. Uber says the integration should benefit thousands of shared SAP and Uber customers.

In September, the travel company is adding several integrations to different expense providers around the globe, including Expensya, Happay, Rydoo, Zeno by Serko and Zoho Expense. The integrations will enable employees to automatically import trip receipts to these platforms.

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