Uber's new chat feature takes care of rider's privacy and driver's safety both in one go

Soma Tah
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BANGALORE, INDIA: If you book cabs through Uber or Ola, you must know that coordinating the pickup location is often the most dreaded task for the rider and the drivers both. Sometimes it requires multiple calls to get to the exact location.


To make the task easier, Uber today announced a phased roll out a new feature in its app called ‘In-app chat’ , which will make it cost-effective, as you can do the same over chat. This will be a good option when you are travelling abroad also, as you can avoid voice call charges.


From the safety aspect, this feature will receive a big thumbs up from women riders as well, as the riders don't have to reveal their phone numbers with this new feature. All that you have to do is that after getting booking confirmation, you need to go to the Uber feed and tap “contact” and then start “chat” with the driver, to coordinate further.


Both riders and drivers will see if their chats are delivered and read, helping to confirm the other actually received the communication. They can even choose to communicate in their preferred local language, if required.

It will be safe for drivers too, as chat messages will be read aloud to them, and they will be able to respond with a thumbs-up message with a single tap on the phone screen. This solves another confusion too. During a POOL trip, this feature lets the driver know which rider has sent the chat.

Uber has also added a 'multi-destination' feature enables riders add multiple stops along their route, if you need to pick up a friend en route, or need to drop off someone on the way. This takes just a few taps on the app when requesting a ride. Tap “Where to?” and add the addresses of the additional stops en route.

Riders can also add and remove stops during the trip. But the company recommends that each stop be limited to 3 minutes or less.