Uber simply cannot stay out of the news at all right now, although the latest reason we are speaking the company’s name is at least because of a new feature rather than a problem within its executive team.
That new feature is one which allows Uber users to book a car for someone else, remotely, allowing people who do not necessarily have access to a smartphone or the Uber app to be picked up when needed.
Using the feature appears pretty simple, with the option to book a ride for someone else popping up when a pick up point other than a user’s current location is set. At this point a list of contacts will appear on-screen, allowing them to be selected. At this point a message is sent to that person with information about the ride, including the driver’s name. Uber is selling this as a way of booking rides for older people who simply do not have a smartphone, although they will obviously need an SMS-capable phone in order to receive the aforementioned message.
Once the driver is on the way, the rider will receive a text message with the driver’s details and a link to track the driver’s route. They’ll even be able to contact the driver directly. The driver will see the rider’s name, and be able to contact the rider directly, too.
Uber says that the new feature is rolling out across no fewer than 30 countries, making it a pretty major undertaking. Uber has previously rolled new features out in smaller test numbers but this is most certainly not one of those situations although a similar “family profiles‘ feature was indeed one of those tested in early 2016.