Uber adds ability to book rides for others who lack smartphones
Uber’s had a tough time in the news lately, only last week seeing the resignation of its CEO, Travis Kalanick. This, however, is a new week! And with that comes a new feature from the ride-sharing company – the ability to book rides for someone else, regardless of whether or not they own a smartphone.
While the person who requests the ride must still be billed, entering a pickup address other than the GPS location of the requester will automatically prompt the user about booking the ride for someone else. At this point, the user can select a rider from their address book and their contact information will be shared with the driver. Details including the name, license plate number, and a link to track the drivers route will be sent to the rider via text message. The requester is also able to track the ride through the Uber app like usual.
The new feature broadens Uber’s potential customer base and reduces stress on those who would otherwise need to employ trickier and more informal tactics to arrange a ride for a friend or senior citizen, for example.
In the past, Uber has partnered with organizations such as the Los Angeles based 24Hr Homecare to enable ride booking through phone operators, while their competitor Lyft has done the same for GreatCall members. Services such as these are likely to continue, with the addition of this newest feature only further expanding the modalities for ordering an Uber.