The ride-hailing giant announced today that it's adding a messaging feature to the app so that passengers and drivers alike can get in touch without ever leaving the app.
Riders can clarify the pickup location or provide any other pertinent information. The text will be read aloud so they won't have to risk playing with the phone while driving, and a "thumbs up" response can be sent with a single tap to safely acknowledge the message's receipt.
Our in-app chat feature also means that regardless of where they are located - whether it be Cleveland, Chennai or Cartagena - riders and drivers won't need to share their phone number with one another when they need to get in touch.But that tech isn't available globally.
To send a message to your driver, riders can select "contact" then "chat" in the feed section of the Uber app. Seeing as this is most likely for convenience and privacy, it's likely that's not going to be the case.
"Riders and drivers wanted to understand the status of their message", he said. Did the rider receive my message? Now, all they need is to connect to a Wi-Fi connection, which most airports already have, to contact their drivers.
"The riders really just wanted a consistent experience", Lermitte noted.
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.
Another positive is that because the in-app messaging only requires an internet connection, worldwide travelers without affordable roaming plans will only need to be connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot to communicate with their driver. While message threads disappear and communication is closed at the end of a ride now, for instance, they've heard some feedback that this might be a good way to check for lost items in future. The rider can easily chat with their driver in real time.