Random calls and texts from unknown numbers that may or may not be the Uber you’re waiting for could be a thing of the past with the announcement of Uber’s new in-app chat feature.
The chat function is primarily designed to send the driver instructions about conditions and the pickup location, for example. For safety reasons, the chats are read aloud to the driver who can respond with a simple “thumbs up.”
The chat function is available from within the Uber app’s feed (Contact > Chat), and both rider and driver will receive confirmation when their chats are sent and read.
As a result, riders and drivers no longer need to share their phone numbers in order to get in touch. Uber says “in-app chat is rolling out globally to both riders and drivers over the coming weeks.”
A representative for Uber told CNET that several countries already had anonymization technology.
“That means when you would SMS or call your driver outside the app (and vice versa), you would be using a random number. This was not available everywhere, which is why this feature is helpful since it standardizes the experience,” she said.
Uber, meanwhile, remains without a CEO. Co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick won’t be retaking his chief executive crown, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.