Uber rides can now be booked through a WhatsApp message. The US-based ride-sharing giant has partnered with WhatsApp to introduce a chatbot service, which makes it possible to book a ride using the popular messaging platform without installing the Uber app. Starting this week, it is being rolled out on a pilot basis in the northern city of Lucknow first and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon.
The new service gives people the option to book an Uber ride via an official Uber WhatsApp account. With this service enabled, you will no longer need to download or use the Uber app. “Everything from user registration, booking a ride, and getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat.” The integration will be available in Lucknow first and then, it will expand to New Delhi later. Uber also says they’re planning to launch this India-wide in 2022.
How to Book an Uber Ride via WhatsApp
‘’WhatsApp users can book an Uber ride through three simple ways: messaging to Uber’s business account number; scanning a QR code; or clicking a link directly to open an Uber WhatsApp chat. They will then be asked to provide pickup and drop-off locations. Users will receive upfront fare information and the driver’s expected time of arrival.’’
‘’Riders get the same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly. They will be informed of the name of the driver and license plate of the driver on booking; be able to track the location of the driver en route to the pickup point and be able to speak to the driver anonymously using a masked number.’’
‘’The WhatsApp chat flow will inform the rider about safety guidelines, including how to reach Uber in case of emergencies (type help on-trip). If the user selects the “emergency” option while on the trip, they will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support team. Uber riders will also have access to the safety line numbers to call the Uber team, if needed, until 30 mins after the trip ends. Drivers on Uber’s platform, however, will see no change in their experience with rides booked via WhatsApp.’’
This option to book an Uber ride via WhatsApp is currently only available in the English language. It is said to expand to other Indian languages soon. WhatsApp also confirms that the service is available to both new and existing users who registered with only one phone number on Uber.
A video released by Uber shows that it takes around 4 minutes to book an Uber ride using WhatsApp chat.