A new update to Uber’s app will make it a lot easier to get in touch with your driver, thus solving one of the most awkward aspects of hailing an Uber.
Uber announced on Thursday the addition of in-app messaging, which allows you to get in touch with your driver without leaving the app.
Up until now, riders and drivers could contact each other using phone calls or SMS, but it wasn’t exactly a seamless experience. There was no way to be sure that texts from random numbers were actually sent by the driver, or for riders to confirm whether their messages were ever received. And the calling feature could lead to awkward conversations while riders and drivers tried to locate one another.
Plus, for riders concerned about privacy, there was no option to conceal your phone number.
Now, riders can tap “contact” followed by “chat” within the app in order to message their driver. When the driver receives the message, it will be automatically read aloud. Drivers can respond with a thumbs up by tapping their screen once, which will help drivers avoid distracted driving, Uber says. The app will also have read receipts so both parties will be able to tell that their message was received.
The new feature will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks.