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New Uber Black features, including "silent mode"

Uber has just announced some improvements to their Uber Black experience, which I suppose, is their pressure to encourage more people to use Uber's award-winning option. Most people use UberX, but apart from the cars there is not much differentiation in terms of service otherwise.

Here are some of the new features that Uber rolls out and how they describe them:

  • Quiet Mode : If you need to respond to emails or are in the mood for a nap, make the trip one quieter with just one tap. If you are in the mood to chat, it is also an option.
  • Help with luggage : let the driver know that there is a need for an extra hand grip for your luggage.
  • Temperature Control : Communicate your optimum temperature before entering a vehicle.
  • Extended Termination Period : Riders will have some extra time to get to the car when unexpected delays show up.
  • Premium Support: live agents if you need something to do right.
  • These new features have been available on 100% of US Uber Black rides since yesterday, and I would say that these are good developments.

    Most concretely, the waiting time is increased from two minutes to five minutes, is great, in my opinion.

    While the other additions sound good, you must keep in mind that they are only given as "preferences" and I do not expect them to be honored 100% of the time.

    For example, when you book your trip, you get the opportunity to choose some preferences, including "quiet favorite" or "happy to chat."

    Like someone who is introverted and who works almost 100% of the time I am in Ubers, I love when a driver is quiet. But I still want to feel rude at basically choosing it as a "preference". Maybe it's wrong, but it just seems … troublesome.

    Even as someone who does not like to talk, I also think it is very much a "it depends" on the situation. In other words, there are some drivers I have good conversations with. Then there are other drivers who talk all the time but don't get hint. So it seems difficult to fully balance it.

    Nevertheless, I am generally a fan of this as long as it does not irritate the driver. It counteracts the fact that Uber loves to tag specific drivers as "known for good conversation." It's not a selling point, in my opinion!

    I'm curious about what makes you of Uber's new "quiet mode" option, whether you're a rider and / or a driver?

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