Starting today, you’ll be able to request an Uber for someone else.
Uber is launching a new in-app feature that lets you request and pay for a ride on behalf of another person, even if they don’t have a smartphone or the Uber app.
The feature will be available to all riders in the US — along with users in 30 other countries — starting Tuesday.
When someone goes to request a ride in the Uber app, they will have the option to select themselves or another person as the passenger. Once the ride is requested, the passenger will receive a text message with the details of the trip and a link to follow along. The person who requested the ride will be able to track the progress of the ride as well.
For US users, the person who requested the ride will pay for it with the card stored in the Uber app, but in places where cash is accepted, the passenger can pay for the trip at the end of the ride.
Although requesting an Uber ride on behalf of someone else has always been possible (albeit tricky), Uber is now formalising the process and cutting out the middleman: Now, the driver and passenger can contact each other directly.
The change is a result of behaviours Uber was seeing in the app, as well as rider requests, Uber product manager Kyle Miller told Business Insider. But the reason for the change was also motivated by senior citizens. Uber hopes the new feature will also improve mobility for seniors, along with anyone who lacks reliable access to the internet.
The new feature will be available starting Tuesday for those with the most up-to-date version of the Uber app.