Riders will no longer need to mandatorily download or use the Uber mobile application.

A representative image of an Uber cabPicxy
Atom Transport Thursday, December 02, 2021 - 13:44

Uber will soon allow users to book a ride via the instant messaging platform WhatsApp. According to a release by Uber,  the  new service will allow people the option to book an Uber ride by messaging an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot. 

“Riders will no longer need to download or use the Uber app. Everything from user registration, booking a ride, and getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface,” Uber has said. This new service will first be rolled out in Lucknow and then to New Delhi, and by next year it will be available to users across India.

To book a ride, WhatsApp users will have to send a message to Uber’s business account number, or scan a QR code or click a link directly to open an Uber WhatsApp chat. They will be asked to provide an OTP that will be sent via SMS, and then be asked to provide pickup and drop off locations, using the location feature on WhatsApp Users will receive upfront fare information and the driver’s expected time of arrival.

Uber said that riders will get the same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly. “They will be informed of the name of the driver and license plate of the driver on booking; be able to track the location of the driver en route to the pickup point and be able to speak to the driver anonymously using a masked number,” Uber said.

The WhatsApp chat flow will also inform the rider about safety guidelines, including how to reach Uber in case of emergencies. WhatsApp users can access the emergency option by typing in (type help on-trip). If the user selects the “emergency” option while on the trip, they will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support team.

Uber riders will also have access to the safety line numbers to call the Uber team, if needed, until 30 mins after the trip ends. Drivers on Uber’s platform, however, will see no change in their experience with rides booked via WhatsApp.

Currently, this option to book a ride via WhatsApp will only be available in English language but it will be expanded to other Indian languages soon. Additionally, the service is available to both new and existing users who registered with only a phone number on Uber. 

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