Quiet Driver mode is like a virtual “shut up, please” for when you want to ride in peace
Ever climbed into an Uber only to immediately wish you could flip a switch and put your overly chatty driver on mute? With the app’s latest update, you kind of can.
This week, Uber announced new features to its rideshare platform, specifically for those booking Uber Black rides, the app’s luxury experience that offers trips in high-end vehicles.
Most notably, the “enhanced” experience includes an option called Quiet Mode where users can can request the driver remain silent during the trip.
Quiet Mode, available now for users booking trips on Uber Black, includes three options: “quiet preferred,” “happy to chat” or “no preference.”
Uber Black is, on average, 100 times more expensive than UberX, and 200 times more expensive than Uber Pool.
It sounds like this could be a welcomed feature, not only for busy professionals looking to take a business call or have a moment of silence, but also for anyone whose skin crawls at the thought of making awkward small talk.
Or worse: becoming a therapist for a disenchanted driver. The concept is sort of like a digital version of the quiet floors that GO Transit implemented on its commuter trains in the Toronto area a few years back.
Still, Uber isn’t known for making the best HR moves, and some outlets are accusing the ride share app of “dehumanizing” its drivers.
With this new update, Uber Black users will also be able to request the driver adjust the temperature or notify the driver if they have luggage that needs to be loaded into the vehicle. All of these preferences need to be selected before you book the fare, not while the vehicle is in transit or while you’re on a ride.
Is this a smart business play or just plain rude? Tell us in the comments. Or keep your silence, that’s cool, too.