Posted by William Charles on May 16, 2019
Misc

Published on May 16th, 2019 | by William Charles

39

Uber Launches ‘Quiet Mode’ But Only For Uber Black Rides

Uber has launched a number of new features for Uber Black rides:

  • Quiet Mode: if you need to respond to emails or are in the mood for a nap, make your trip a quieter one with just one tap. If you’re in the mood to chat, that’s an option too.
  • Help with Luggage: let your driver know an extra pair of hands is needed for your luggage.
  • Temperature Control: communicate your optimal temperature before entering a vehicle.
  • Extended Pickup Period:  riders will have a little extra time to get to the car when unexpected delays pop up (increases from 2 minutes to 5 minutes)
  • Premium Support: access premium phone support with live agents if you need something to be made right.  
  • Professionalism: ride with confidence knowing that your professional, commercially-licensed driver is at the top of his or her game.
  • Consistent Vehicle Quality: expect the same kinds of rides, every time, with consistent vehicle model, makes, interiors, and exteriors.

Lyft was considering something similar to quiet mode called ‘Zen Mode‘ late last year, but I guess they decided not to implement it. I hope the option for quiet mode gets introduced for UberX rides as well. Most of the time I love having a chat to my driver (if they are into it) but sometimes I just want to be a zombie because I haven’t slept in 36 hours and still need to answer some e-mails. I realize that I can just tell my driver that, but for some reason I find that far more awkward than just being able to select it in app (although I’m a fairly awkward sort of person, so maybe it’s only me that has this problem).

Hat tip to OMaaT



39
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Odelia
Odelia

Hmm. Some of these already exist as a feature. I think it’s called “speaking”.

Seriously, have they forgotten at Uber that most drivers are actually, well, human? It’s kind of frightening that people are so uncomfortable with basic interaction that we need an app to tell the driver to please up the AC.

Frank

One day we will solve the issue of them being human, this is just practice for that day

sybloc
sybloc

Not sure if you’re being sarcastic but Uber’s main thrust at this point is to replace humans with driverless vehicles.

Chucks
Chucks

Very good! The human muzzle is just a temporary “patch” until the autonomous upgrade.

On the other end, expect a significant amount of work going into making vehicles “chatty” as an option for those who want the old-timey feel of a person in the driver’s seat.

Mike
Mike

I’m torn on Quiet Mode. I kinda like the idea for limited circumstances (as you said, perhaps when very tired), but I don’t like the idea of basically de facto saying, “Don’t talk to me. You’re beneath me.”

It’s one of those features that I sort of want, but I also don’t want it to exist…

LC
LC

I’m not torn on this. Clearly you havent had an annoying uber driver before.

One time the girl and I went to Chase Bank in Las Vegas to get a checking / savings bonus (naturally, always gotta churn even on vacay!) the guy calls us from the middle of the intersection and says “Hi I see you”… were thinking ok… come get us, were not walking in the street, Lol. Then the guy picks us up and repeatedly says my girls name over and over and he wanted to make sure to tell her the child lock is on. Were just thinking… why would you drive uber and leave child lock on so you have to tell every passenger? Such a weirdo.

I’ll gladly use Quiet mode and not feel like an asshole.

Mike
Mike

That is very odd driver behavior. Do you feel that a driver who so strongly violates social norms will abide by “Quiet Mode”?

Lc
Lc

Probably not. Thing about quiet mode is I’ll still say hi the driver to break any awkwardness. Quiet mode should be an understanding the person just wants to relax.. not necessarily be rude and not talk.

sybloc
sybloc

Even worse is when some asshole driver reduces your rating because you prefer not to talk.

Flea
Flea

This reminds me of an NYC yellow cab where I got in with my dry cleaning. The driver, not the same person pictured on the license but I was only going 17 blocks to my office, spent the entire time clicking the back door auto-locks off’ and ‘on’, while trying to sell me his (I’m sure self-published!) book. I’m almost positive it was an intimidation tactic. I can in fact count on the fingers of one hand the yellow and livery car trips I’ve had that weren’t ‘weird’ in one way or another. I’m also not that good looking, a 7 at best when I wear makeup, which isn’t often, so I’m really puzzled by how many cab and Uber drivers want to play aggressive Match Game with me; which is probably why I take the subway about 360 days out of the year; if it’s not chatting me up, it’s ‘tell me how to get to your house’. (Dude, I don’t drive; that’s what you’re here for!)

Sarah D
Sarah D

Some people want to have perfunctory chit-chat, some people just want to be transported in peace. This makes sense to indicate which type of rider you are, nothing to do with elitism. And drivers are probably happy to oblige, I’m sure they’re tired of the same lines of conversation over and over.

Benigno
Benigno

Find most Uber drivers say hello and then don’t talk for rest of my trip.

Lc
Lc

You’ve had some good Uber drivers! The best ones are ones that ask me how the temp is and only talk if needed. Shouldn’t have to feel like socializing is the norm when getting to a place of destination. They should always play it by ear and see if the person wants to talk. I’ll always tip these types of drivers more and generally they have much better ratings for a reason.

Jay
Jay

That headline seems racist… 😛

Stinger
Stinger

I wish they had radio channels that you could select via app. Family friendly, sorted by genre. Pick it on your app and let it play. Recent Orlando trip, my Lyft guy is playing some vulgar hip hop when we get in. I’m with my family and he quickly realizes the problem. He flips on country music maybe because I’m a white bread white guy. I suppose he thinks I’d like this. Horrible. To me this would be a great feature.

doc
doc

That’s probably the difference between Uber and Lyft. Surely, you cannot expect Lyft drivers to be exactly the same as Uber drivers. They have different standards, and Uber is typically more upscale than Lyft.

Dubya
Dubya

This is a feature Uber use to have. They had a deal with Pandora. You could select your music on your app, and it automatically changed on the drivers app. Not enough driver has it set up correctly (Bluetooth or Aux) so it just became a customer service nightmare for Uber so they dropped it.
I liked it because you could select no music, which was a a defector “quiet please”.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Or an “I’d prefer to talk without music interrupting us” mode. Ugh.
Glad to see “quiet mode” as an option. Just wish I could choose it mid ride when the driver’s conversation is annoying me.

doc
doc

That would be super rude.

Getting someone to stop talking to you has always been a skill, that almost anyone could learn.

The rude ways work quickly, but have the side effect of potentially backfiring.

Or, you can just get less and less talkative, until they wear themselves out, and realize that they’re talking to themselves.

doc
doc

Then I’m sure Uber wouldn’t be mad if a driver put a barrier up, either.

Starting to sound like Uber thinks drivers are their employees, after all.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Try showing up as a contract worker at an office and not following their rules. You’ll find yourself out on your a@@ pretty quick.

doc
doc

That’s just the point. Contractors service companies. Employees service customers.

Contractors have business licenses and permits to engage in specialized activities. Contractors work for as many companies as they can, without interference.

There’s a whole list of things that separate contractors from employees. Uber is basically trying to say that… even though the list is stacked favoring employment, anyone can just pretend that all it takes is one thing on the other side of the ledger to disqualify someone from being an employee.

Basically, they can walk, talk, and act like a duck. But, they’re a frog because we say they can hop, even though we tell them how to hop.

It’s called doing business under false pretenses.

Pri
Pri

William Charles off topic, but I can’t imagine you as an awkward person to talk to, it’s interesting how we create personas for bloggers we’ve never met. personally I think you and Chuck sound like awesome people, but I suppose I’m heavily biased since you’re always helping me get good deals.

Aram
Aram

I’m an Uber driver. Considering many factors, I have a feeling/my intuition tells me that it’s not a good feature overall. The best part of this job is talking to different people from all areas of life. I’ve just suggested to a writer (personal finances) from nerdwallet to read Doc for travel. I’ve given MS advices to people who deserve it, give tourist suggestions for visiting NYC and get lots of insider info in return. In uber they’ve coached as not to talk about the politics and religion but i don’t care I talk about any subject and my rating is 4.98 at this moment. I feel when the passenger is tired or doesn’t want to talk and won’t bother them much. Will not be nice if someone seats into my car with stfu turned on by default. Pair of headphones will do the trick IMHO.

Flea
Flea

Maybe they will give the driver an option to check a box saying they refuse to take non-talkers. 😉

doc
doc

Giving advice to, “people who deserve it?” That wording seems a bit snooty. Anyway, merely participating in a cordial conversation… doesn’t automatically attribute any value to giving unsolicited advice. So, whether someone deserves unsolicited advice, depends on whether that advice turns out to be salient. There’s just as good a chance that the advice will end up being bad advice. So, sometimes it’s best to qualify one’s own personal commentary.

I think that many riders give 5 star ratings because they are just trying to be polite, and not vindictive… even if they get annoyed by a driver. – Not necessarily because drivers deserve a great rating. I think if the rating system were more detailed, with say, 5 separate questions, there would be more nuance in the ratings.

For example, if there was a, “Did the driver talk politics and religion,” question, than obviously that would make a driver think twice about bringing up divisive topics. Rather, if a driver is just responding to a direct question, it’s up to them how they would respond. But, most service workers know how to politely decline getting into divisive topics.

There’s no reason to alienate potentially half of your clientele, by talking politics and religion. Even if we assume that someone is a fellow traveler in our way of thinking… we all know what assumptions are borne out of.

Snorlax
Snorlax

But I’m so interested in the political opinions of my Uber driver though!

/s

Back to Top ↑