The days of awkward conversations during Uber rides are now over, at least for some users. Uber has heard our cries and is now offering a “quiet mode” to keep chats to a minimum during rides. The update comes with a list of new rider preferences for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV.
“Uber Black and Uber Black SUV riders told us they wanted high-quality service and premium comfort,” Uber Senior Product Manager Aydin Ghajar said in a blog post. “That’s why we’ve improved features and requirements to meet or exceed their expectations on every ride.”
The new preference feature is perfect for riders who need to take phone calls, answer emails, nap, or enjoy silence. Those who don’t mind conversing can also make it known in their preferences.
The new “quiet mode” and other preferences will only be available to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV users. The move is expected to encourage riders to use Uber’s more expensive offerings. Riders can also set preferences for the car temperature, notify drivers if they have luggage and request an extended pickup period.
As part of the updates, Uber is implementing new vehicle and driver requirements for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV in more than 30 cities across the U.S. including Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
The ride preference comes during an interesting time for Uber. The company’s recent IPO has put it under a microscope for its work conditions. Last month, the company, along with its top competitor Lyft, stopped hiring new drivers after the New York City Council passed a bill hoping to decongest the city’s streets of ride-hailing cars and improve workers’ wages.
Uber drivers in New York City went on strike for two hours last week in protest of their working conditions. However, on Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Uber drivers are contractors, not employees of the company.
The ruling served as a win for Uber, but as the company continues to roll out updates and features aimed at keeping customers smiling, it may be letting the needs of its drivers fall under the radar.