Ride hailing app Uber today announced an in-app chat feature that lets riders and drivers communicate with one another without leaving the app. Uber said this update allows drivers to better communicate with riders when sudden road closures or other delays happen en route to the rider's location.

Riders can also send chats to drivers to indicate where they're waiting for the car, or give a distinct piece of clothing or accessory to allow the driver to easily identify them.

uber messaging
To do so, riders can navigate to the Uber feed, tap "contact," and then tap "Chat," and when the driver gets the message the app will read it aloud to them automatically so they aren't distracted. A one-tap response feature sends a quick thumbs up to the rider so they know their message was read.

Every great ride starts with the pickup, so we’re always thinking about ways to make the pickup experience as frictionless as possible for riders and drivers alike. That includes helping riders and drivers connect should they need to get in touch with one another to solve for things like road closures, or to just provide information on their exact location.

So we’re adding a way for riders and drivers to chat right in the Uber app. It’s now easier than ever to get in touch.

Speaking with TechCrunch, Uber product manager Jeremy Lermitte said this will help keep user data more private, because drivers and riders won't have to share personal contact information outside of Uber. Additionally, the company is considering adding the chat feature into other apps, including UberEATS.

In-app chat is rolling out globally over the coming weeks to all Uber riders and drivers, and the company described the update as a "first step" towards introducing more communication and messaging experiences within its app.

Tag: Uber

Top Rated Comments

earthTOmitchel Avatar
48 months ago
as if uber drivers weren't distracted enough
I like Uber drivers because they text and drive.
"...when the driver gets the message the app will read it aloud to them automatically so they aren't distracted."
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sputnikv Avatar
48 months ago
as if uber drivers weren't distracted enough
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
48 months ago
I like Uber drivers because they text and drive.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wackery Avatar
48 months ago
I'm not reinstalling until they turn off always on tracking, or until iOS 11
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmylrea Avatar
48 months ago
You didn’t think they would read the article before spouting their nonsense did you?
You don't think Uber and Lyft drivers aren't already distracted while driving? More often than not, when I see a driver going slow for no reason, or I think is otherwise distracted, it's a Uber / Lyft driver, holding their phone, staring at it, trying to figure out where they are, etc. Just because you're not punching in letters to a text message doesn't mean your not being distracted other ways by your phone.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruiserB Avatar
48 months ago
I don't want to communicate with my driver though, I want them to use the information in the app about my pickup and drop off location. All the necessary data is there, don't call me, don't text me, don't message me, just go to the point I marked on the map and pick me up. I have your car make/model and license plate and will wave when you arrive. :)
As an occasional driver, I can say that you are the ideal passenger. We don't want to talk to you either! I just want to drive to the pickup location and find you waiting. I especially hate when a passenger calls just after requesting to tell me where they are....or worse...to ask if I can come get them in 3 hours!?! Some people just don't get how the service works. I never call a passenger. I only text. And I only text after arriving to the pin location and not seeing the passenger. Moving the communication in-app is actually a great move. And the option to give a quick "thumbs-up" response will save me from having to switch to the Messages app and type "thanks" when a customer feels it's necessary to tell me something when I'm on the way. So this is actually eliminating texting while driving....not adding to it.
[doublepost=1502388052][/doublepost]
This is actually a terrific idea - I always disliked having my standard contact information exposed (via text messages), this will - if what I'm assuming about the implementation is correct - contained in the Uber sandbox.
Drivers never got your contact info when you texted or called them. And you didn't get theirs when they answered. The numbers both sides saw were dummy temporary numbers that only enabled communication between the time you requested the ride and were dropped off and are not the actual numbers of either the driver or passenger.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...