Uber's Newest Feature Will Make Finding Your Ride So Much Easier

Yolanda Curtis
August 10, 2017

Finally, both riders and drivers want to know if the other party has received and read their message, something that isn't possible with standard SMS messaging. Received messages will actually be read aloud to drivers, and to help with distractions, they can acknowledge a message by tapping a "thumbs up" emoji response.

Uber has made a decision to simplify the pickup experience for riders and drivers so it has added a much-needed feature to its app. Both the driver and the rider will receive receipts of their transaction as well. Rather than placing a call or sending a message with your phone's default service, there's now an instant messenger client built right into the Uber app. Once a rider has been assigned a driver, the rider can go to the Uber app and tap the "content" button and then the "chat" button. That includes helping riders and drivers connect should they need to get in touch with one another to solve for things like road closures, or to just provide information on their exact location.

The new feature will start rolling out in the next few weeks to both Android and iOS devices and should make life a little easier and safer for the rider and driver.

Previously, riders and drivers in the United States were able to text through their phones with Uber providing a layer of anonymity by showing a random phone number. "That's especially true in some of our key markets like Brazil and India". "In many of our markets, SMS isn't actually available for us, we don't have the technology in place", Uber product manager Jeremy Lermitte told TechCrunch. VoIP calls could come to the app next, and messaging could also be added to UberEATS.

Uber has always supported contacting a driver once a auto has been assigned, though it's relied on methods outside of the app to actually do so. "Lots of stories with folks travelling internationally", Lermitte began, "where, let's say you land in Paris, and you're in the airport, you don't have a voice plan or a cellular plan setup, you can now just connect to Wi-Fi and communicate with your driver for the pickup".

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