ℹ️ This page explains the difference between instant, scheduled and pickable bookings and how each booking behaves based on matching.
There are three major types of Bookings (instant, scheduled, pickable) that behave in a different way with regards to how they are being manually or automatically matched with suitable Drivers, and how they are displayed in the Driver app.
The matching of a booking is the process of a booking being offered to drivers based on certain criteria. Drivers that are offered a booking can choose to accept or decline.
A booking stays in this matching status either until a driver accepts it, or it is being force-assigned by a dispatcher or it is cancelled.
If a driver who has accepted a booking decides to cancel the booking, the status of the booking goes back to searching for a driver.
- Basics on matching
- Matching by capability
- Automatic matching of bookings
- Manual matching of bookings
Basics on matching
Matching by service area
When it comes to matching, the Service area plays a central role. No matter which type of booking is created or configured, multiple features like Hailing booking validation and pricing and also matching relies on the service area. On creation, a booking is automatically assigned to the service area that either all, some or one Stop of the booking is part of. If a booking has stops in multiple service areas, the booking is being attributed to the service area of the first stop (that is in a service area).
When it comes to matching a booking to eligible drivers, drivers have to belong to the same service area as the booking in order to see the bookings. A driver automatically gets assigned to the service area they were last seen in.
Matching by capability
A powerful and highly-configurable feature of MotionTools is Capabilities. They help businesses to offer, price and match various types of bookings (tasks, jobs) differently. While most information can be found on the corresponding article that fully described this feature, it is important to note that capabilities have an impact on whether certain booking are visible to certain drivers or not. This is true independently of the automatic matching methods explained below.
Automatic matching of bookings
A pickable booking is a booking that can be picked by a driver out of a sorted list.
The list is curated by service area and all drivers that are online in the corresponding service area can see and accept the bookings, if the driver supports the requested Capability. It is sorted chronologically by default with the most recent bookings listed at the bottom. Optionally, the list can be sorted by distance with the closest booking shown first.
- When to use this option?
When available drivers are always at the (same) pickup location, it is usually preferred to show all available bookings to all eligible drivers and let them start any of them. A typical use case is quick commerce operated from dark stores — bookings come in scheduled for now should be processed ASAP, and it does not matter which driver takes which booking.
Pickable bookings support the matching options described in the Manual matching of bookings section.
Scheduled bookings are as the name suggests: scheduled. They are the best option to use, if bookings are planned for later. This usually means at least 60 minutes into the future, potentially even only tomorrow or another following day.
Scheduled bookings can be created according to the Scheduling configuration and tenants have an option to make sure that they have to be scheduled a certain time in advance. Scheduled bookings are visible to drivers as soon as they have been created. An exception to this is, when Tenants make use of the 'manual dispatch' feature, which means that new bookings have to be manually 'released' after creation to be made visible to drivers.
Drivers have to claim scheduled bookings via the 'Scheduled' tab in the driver app. Once the driver claims a booking, the booking is not visible to other drivers anymore and moves to the 'Upcoming' tab in the driver app.
If a driver does not start a claimed booking 'in time', the booking then falls back to being an instant booking to find the best possible replacement driver automatically. The details of this fallback mechanism can be configured in the Dashboard via the scheduling configuration.
- When to use this option?
This can be very helpful when working with drivers who:
- Want to plan their day properly.
- When it is very important to ensure that enough supply will be available.
- When simply the type of operations allows or demands bookings to be 'planned ahead'.
Instant bookings are bookings that have some sort of urgency, which is why MotionTools applies an algorithm to find the best available area ASAP.
The algorithm works like this:
- Proximity based: The closest available driver gets the request first.
- Distribution wait time: The requests stay exclusively with this driver for a certain time and afterwards will be sent to the next best driver additionally.
- Search radius cap: Only drivers in a certain radius around the pickup stop are requested, to ensure that unreasonable pickups are not being requested from drivers.
When instant bookings are sent to drivers, the phone vibrates and rings until the request is accepted or denied. As soon as one driver accepts the request, it will be taken away from everyone else.
- When to use this option?
This mechanism comes mainly from ride-hailing operations, where a Customer is usually waiting somewhere for a driver to arrive and expects immediate pickup. It also acknowledges that the system is free-floating in the scene, that many drivers are constantly changing their locations and getting requests from anywhere in the service area (e.g. it is unclear when and where these requests are coming in). If you do not have a lot of fixed locations and have many constantly moving drivers, this option might be the best option to go with.
Manual matching of bookings
All bookings not only can be matched automatically, but also manually. This can be helpful if operations is run by a dispatcher and drivers are not supposed to decide bookings or routes themselves.
Basic features are to:
- Assigning incoming bookings.
- Reassigning bookings.
- Selecting preferred drivers for bookings.