Uber is now rolling out a feature that lets you specify a person in your contact book as the rider of the trip. Whilst it has always been possible to request a ride from a different location, this new feature really streamlines the process. It allows the driver and the person who you are booking the cab for to contact each other directly and still make sure the person who requests foots the bill.
The new feature is simple in how it works. When you select a pick-up location that isn’t your phone’s current geotagged spot, a dialogue box opens that asks whether the ride is for you or ‘Someone else’. This will open up your address book, lets you pick who the ride is for, then you select the pick up location and make someone’s day.
Whoever you select will receive a text message with the driver’s name and a link that will allow them to track his progress. However, even though they can contact the driver he cannot see their phone number.
It’s rolling out in the U.S. starting today, but also in 30 other countries at the same time, including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and more, with additional markets getting the update soon.
This new feature will allow Uber to reach a new market, especially the elderly, who struggle with new technology. But with this update, relatives and existing riders will be able to book rides for this demographic.