Uber launches ‘Quiet Mode’ for passengers who want to keep conversation to a minimum (but it’s only available in luxury rides)
- Users can now specify if they’d prefer a quiet ride or if they’re more open to chat
- However, they’ll have to pay a little extra, as the tool is only for Uber Black rides
- Users can also set the temperature for their ride and request help with luggage
Uber wants to make it easier for users to ride in silence.
The ride-hailing giant is launching a new in-app feature that lets users request minimal conversation from the driver while they’re on their way to a destination.
However, users will have to pay a little extra to take advantage of it, as the tool, called ‘Quiet Mode,’ is only available for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV premium rides.
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Uber is launching a new feature that lets users request minimal conversation from the driver while they’re on their way to a destination. It’s only for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV rides
HOW CAN YOU USE QUIET MODE?
In order to use Quiet Mode, users have to select an Uber Black or Uber Black SUV.
After they enter their destination, there will be an option for ‘Ride Preferences’ on the screen.
Once ‘Ride Preferences’ it selected, it will initiate a pop-up on screen.
Under ‘Conversation,’ select ‘Quiet preferred,’ instead of the default option, which is ‘No preference.’
Then, hit ‘Request Uber Black,’ and your driver will know what your preferences are ahead of time.
Starting today, users can choose from ‘Quiet Preferred,’ ‘Happy to Chat’ or ‘No preference’ under the ‘Conversation’ heading in the app.
Now, users can take a nap, answer emails or listen to music without interruption from their driver.
‘If you need to respond to emails or are in the mood for a nap, make your trip a quieter one with just one tap,’ the company said.
‘If you’re in the mood to chat, that’s an option too.’
The features are rolling out as part of Uber’s new list of ‘ride preferences,’ which are expanded controls that are only available during premium rides.
As part of the new features, users can also request help with their luggage and set their preferred temperature ahead of time.
With ‘Extended Pickup Period,’ riders can also elect to have their drivers wait a bit longer before they cancel the ride.
Uber Black users will still get charged if their driver has to wait for five minutes after they arrived, but their driver will have to wait 15 minutes before cancelling the ride.
The update also means Uber will prioritize more professional drivers and nicer cars for Uber Black users.
‘We know that when riders choose Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, they want a consistent, high quality experience every time they ride,’ the company said.
‘With these new features and more to come, we’re excited to ensure that our riders can arrive relaxed and refreshed, wherever they’re headed.’
Uber Black rides are typically 100 percent more expensive than Uber X, the company’s low-cost option, and 200 percent more expensive than Uber Pool, its carpool option, according to the Verge.
Uber isn’t the only ride-sharing app that’s looked into adding ‘Quiet Mode.’
Rival ride-hailing service Lyft has also considered launching a similar feature, wherein users can request limited conversation from their drivers.
Uber’s new feature should make it easier for users to have a quiet ride when it might otherwise be awkward to make that request to the driver’s face.
It may also help improve their passenger rating. Some drivers may give riders a lower score if they aren’t polite or don’t talk enough.
Uber hasn’t commented on whether or not this is the case, however.
WHAT ARE UBER’S NEW SAFETY FEATURES?
Uber said it was rolling out new safety features to help riders avoid fake drivers, two weeks after the murder of a college student who got into her killer’s car mistakenly believing it was her ride.
The features include steps to identify the right car and a push notification to remind riders of the ‘Check Your Ride’ steps just before their car arrives, the ride-hailing company said.
The features will go live in Columbia and South Carolina on Thursday and will roll out across the United States within few days.
Uber’s new campus safety initiative is part of its effort to help students avoid fake rideshare drivers, among other things.
The company is planning to launch a new tool for universities to provide service for students at odd hours when other options are limited.
The pilot program will start with the University of South Carolina, while other universities can get themselves enrolled.
As part of its new campus safety initiative, Uber is rolling out dedicated pickup zones on college campuses.
The designated areas will be well-lit and will also be monitored by law enforcement officials nearby.