You Can Finally Order an Uber for Someone Else
Uber is launching a long-awaited update today: the ability to hail one of its cars for another person from your own phone. The company announced the update to its regular car service in a blog post today, where it touts the expansion as an attempt to "safe, reliable transportation options for everyone in the family," highlighting how it can help loved ones particularly.
The expansion, which rolled out to users in the United States and 30 other countries on Tuesday, seems simple enough. When using Uber to set a pickup location away from your current location, the app will automatically ask if the ride is for you or for a friend or for "Someone Else." When you select "Someone Else," you can automatically add their contact information to the request, key in their destination, and hail the ride for them.
Once the driver is en route, the person you requested the ride for will receive a text message including the trip info, the driver's name and contact info, and confirmation that the ride is paid for. Pretty easy, whether you're ordering for your grandma or for that friend at the bar who had a few too many to drink.
Uber's recent controversies -- including, but not limited to underpaying its drivers by tens of millions, allegedly ripping off riders, getting rid of an aggressive CEO, and more -- probably show that the company still has a long way to go toward regaining its customers' trust and the wider public respect. Maybe this update will at least help some of its customers' parents get home OK, though.