We’ve all been there — a friend or loved one needs a ride home, but their phone is dead. Dad needs to be picked up from the airport, but he has no idea how to operate Uber. You’re coordinating Uber business transportation for a candidate or client, and want them to be able to manage pick up on their own. Doesn’t it seem like a ton of hassle to just get someone from A to B? Thanks to Uber’s new feature, which lets you order a ride for a loved one, you’ll never have to wonder if the person you’re calling for made it to their destination safely again.
Considering all the ride-sharing options we have at our fingertips, Uber’s new feature seems long overdue. Plenty of other geolocation apps have mastered the art of keeping tabs on a traveler’s route outside of the app, and it seems like the perfect time for Uber to work it out its own system for the non-smart phone users of the world. With the new addition, everyone in the family will have access to a quick, safe ride without having to deal with the uncertainty of hailing a cab. "If your loved one can’t request their own Uber for whatever reason, you can ensure they have a safe ride to their doorstep, airline terminal, appointment, or anywhere else they need to be with just a few taps," Kyle Miller, Product Manager at Uber, tells Bustle of the update.
From now on, when you request an Uber and set the location to a place other than your current coordinates, Uber will automatically ask you if you’re requesting the ride for someone else. From there, you can confirm that you are, then toggle into your contacts to select the recipient of the Uber, set their destination, and order a car on their behalf.
Once the driver begins the trip, the rider will receive a text message with the driver’s info (car, identity, etc.) along with a weblink to track the driver’s route. Riders will even be able to contact the driver directly via Uber’s signature anonymous contact info. It’s worth noting that Uber automatically applies this protection to the rider’s contact info, too, so both parties’ information remains concealed. As is standard with smartphone user profiles, drivers are able to see the rider’s name, and will be able to contact them directly should delays arise en route.
Payment is processed at the end of the ride as usual, and is charged to the requestor’s card on file. There’s also an option to select cash as an alternate payment option if the rider would prefer to handle payment themselves. Best of all, account holders are able to keep tabs on the driver and ride in their app as usual, so you can make sure grandma arrives at her destination without any hiccups. Uber’s new family feature is officially available in 30 countries around the world, with more expected to be added soon.