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Uber chat lets riders message drivers in-app
10 August 2017, 09:13 | Jodi Jackson
Ever had an Uber driver arrive only to leave you in the lurch?
Our in-app chat feature also means that regardless of where they are located - whether it be Cleveland, Chennai or Cartagena - riders and drivers won't need to share their phone number with one another when they need to get in touch.
And though some people aren't fans of read receipts, the feature will show to both riders and drivers whether or not the other person has seen - and read - the chat.
On Thursday, the ride-hailing giant announced it is about to unveil a new in-app chat feature that is created to make it easier for drivers and riders to get in touch.
Up to now, the most annoying part of using Uber is when a passenger and driver can't find each other and need to get in touch. The cost makes both riders and drivers hesitant to make calls, which in turn can lead to cancellations.
Uber will be rolling out in-app messaging to both riders and drivers globally over the coming weeks. 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.
It will be safer for drivers too, as chat messages will be automatically read aloud to them, and they will be able to respond with a thumbs-up message via a single tap on the screen.
Riders can clarify the pickup location or provide any other pertinent information. He also says that Uber is still putting resources behind building out this new feature, which could expand in the future to cover more areas. That's the reason why the Uber app's chat feature supports delivered/read statuses - something that's not widely supported with SMS messages. "In many of our markets, SMS isn't actually available for us, we don't have the technology in place", Uber product manager Jeremy Lermitte told TechCrunch. Rather than placing a call or sending a message with your phone's default service, there's now an instant messenger client built right into the Uber app. On landing, I connected my phone to the Charles de Gaulle airport Wi-Fi network, specifically so we could call for an Uber ride.
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