Uber chat lets riders message drivers in-app

Uber adds in-app driver-rider chat facility for greater convenience and privacy

Uber adds in-app driver-rider chat facility for greater convenience and privacy

The Uber app will now let riders and drivers communicate with each other before a pick-up, thanks to a new chat feature built into the app. Chats received by the driver will be read aloud to them so as to minimize distraction when they're behind the wheel.

On Thursday, the ride-hailing giant announced it is about to unveil a new in-app chat feature that is created to make it easier for drivers and riders to get in touch. The obvious solution to this problem has finally arrived, as Uber has developed an in-app messaging service.

Drivers can easily acknowledge that they have received the message by tapping on the app once to send a "thumbs up".

The new feature will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks.

"This is our first step towards leveraging real-time-messaging to enable seamless communication experiences for our customers and help them connect in both the digital and physical worlds", Uber Product Manager Jeremy Lermitte said in a blog post. There exists to the option to use each other's phone numbers for a text or call, but this will come up as an unknown number for either recipient and could go unanswered. "That's especially true in some of our key markets like Brazil and India".

The built-in messaging feature makes a lot of sense when you think about it, and Lermitte says that it's something Uber can offer without requiring significant ongoing overhead to maintain.

Riders can clarify the pickup location or provide any other pertinent information. Ahead, see more images of how chatting on the Uber app actually works.

Lastly, the feature is expected to be a way to make it easier for worldwide travelers to contact Uber drivers.

Like Twitter DMs, it'll allow users to send questions straight to Uber's driver app. Now, all they need is to connect to a Wi-Fi connection, which most airports already have, to contact their drivers. "Where are you?" Often the driver would skip the anonymous text altogether and just honk their horn until you got the hint. It's a faster and cheaper experience with no toggling between Uber and other messaging/calls and no voice call or SMS costs.

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