New features of the Uber app will allow riders to request a silent ride, request help with luggage or adjust the temperature with the touch of a button. The new features are already available on most Uber Black trips. The enhancements are being rolled out along with new stricter driver and vehicle requirements for the premium product available from the rideshare company.
Sometimes, Uber riders might like to chat during their ride, while other times riders might prefer a little peace and quiet to collect their thoughts or get some work done. Recent upgrades to the Uber app will allow premium riders to request “quiet mode” when ordering their ride. Likewise, Uber Black customers will be able to request the driver is available for a chat or simply to offer a little local color when visiting a new city.
The company announced the tech improvements as part of an overall enhancement of its Uber Black service. Uber said it is also introducing new more stringent rules for the drivers and vehicles allowed to participate in the Uber Black program.
“Today, we’re rolling out a new, enhanced set of features for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, the original luxury experiences where it all started,” Uber Senior Product Manager Aydin Ghajar said in a statement announcing the new technologies. “Uber Black and Uber Black SUV riders told us they wanted high-quality service and premium comfort. That’s why we’ve improved features and requirements to meet or exceed their expectations on every ride. Whether it’s heading to that important meeting, or arriving in style for date night, we’re offering an increasing number of ways for riders to personalize their experiences.”
Other enhancements to the app, which went live in most locations on May 15, include the ability to request that the driver help bring bags to the car, an option to set environmental control preferences and even a direct connection with concierge-style customer support. Uber Black users already have the ability to relay special requests to drivers directly through the app. Users of the premium product are also permitted a 5-minute grace period before waiting fees are charged and up to 15 minutes before riders are considered a no-show and the ride is canceled.
According to Ghajar, the new requirements specifying which luxury model cars qualify for Uber Black, as well as new professional standards for drivers are already in place in some of the company’s biggest markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia. The new stricter Uber Black standards are planned to be implemented network-wide in the coming months.
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