Don’t want to talk to your Uber driver? There’s now a option for that within the Uber app — although there’s a catch.
Uber this week began rolling out a new “Quiet Mode” to its premium ride services, such as Uber Black and Uber Black SUV.
Unfortunately, that means you’ll need to pay a little extra to get some zen during your ride. But for users who are particularly averse to awkward conversations with their driver, it may be worth it.
If you aren’t familiar, Uber’s black cars are luxury vehicles driven by professional drivers — so they aren’t your standard ride. And going forward, there may be another reason for users to opt for the pricier rides: Uber black car services now come with several available ride preferences.
- Under the Conversation tab, riders can select “Quiet preferred,” “Happy to chat,” or “No preference” options.
- Riders can also specifically request help with their luggage, as well as set their preferred car temperature.
The new ride preference options are being launched alongside a wider set of changes to Uber’s black cars.
For one, Uber Black divers now need to wait 15 minutes before canceling a ride. That’s standard procedure for most private car services. Future drivers must now also have nicer and newer vehicles when they sign up to drive an Uber black car, and all Uber Black riders will get premium phone support.
The end goal, Uber’s Aydin Ghajar told TechCrunch, is to better differentiate its Uber Black services from its regular ride-sharing products, such as Uber Pool or UberX.
But it’s the quiet mode feature that has gotten the most attention — and it’s easy to see why. It’s a highly requested feature among Uber and Lyft users, and has been for some time.
As previously mentioned, Uber Black rides are more expensive than standard Uber rides — about two to three times the cost. If quiet mode encourages more people to ride with Uber Black, then the company could stand to make quite a bit more money.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Uber can’t force its drivers to comply with these user ride preferences (due to employment regulations). So while the driver will be notified that you prefer “quiet mode,” it’s not mandatory that they actually respect your preference.