Uber has announced a new app feature that gives drivers and riders a new way to communicate with one another. Listed under a “free call” within the app, the new feature uses voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) to allow both parties to seamlessly talk to one another.
Uber has long recognized the fact that riders and Uber drivers need to have the facility to talk to one another. Both parties involved in the transaction have a telephone number listed against their accounts, which means that it has previously been possible to connect to each other via a standard telephone call.
Obviously, for some riders, if this call was made from their end then it would go over the cellular network and potentially either cost them money or be subtracted from their monthly call allowance.
Now, with this new feature, it’s essentially a free call – cellular data permitting – which is made over the internet and between both installed apps in a similar fashion to how Apple’s FaceTime or Microsoft’s Skype platforms work. The rationale here is that in many countries around the world it is significantly cheaper to make calls via VoIP than it is to make standard voice calls over the carrier’s network, with Gagan Mac of Uber saying that “data calling is now much cheaper than voice calling in certain markets.
Obviously, as Uber grows and expands into different territories, it wants to be able to offer a service that allows clear and transparent communication but in a manner that is accessible by all with options that suit all needs and requirements.
It actually makes perfect sense that Uber would introduce this type of communication method. From a rider’s perspective, it allows seamless communication with the driver that has been assigned to his/her trip. Where the driver is concerned, calls can be made to the prospective rider without ever having to leave the comfort of the Uber app experience, which means that drivers can make calls on the move in-line without having to jump back and forth between apps inside and outside of Uber’s control.
Uber has just announced the feature globally and it is in the process of rolling out to the app, right now.
(Source: The Verge)
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