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Jun 5, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Uber: "silent mode" launched to ask Uber Black drivers to be quiet

Uber has recently unveiled new options available since mid-May via its application for US users of its Uber Black service. In an attempt to provide more comfort during the journey, clients of these top-of-the-range services can let the driver know in advance if they need help loading luggage or if they would prefer the journey to be made in silence. Extending waiting time free of charge is also available, as is an "ideal temperature" option. These various new services are in addition to the high standards set by the company for its "luxury" range.


US users of Uber Black (or Uber Berline as it is known in France), which is the global ride-share giant’s premium offer, can now fill in a wish-list before their journey. The company issued a press release on Wednesday 15 May detailing the new functionalities that are now available and which can be set as default using the application. These include allowing the client to let the driver know if they would rather travel in silence, or if they will need help with their luggage.


Silence to order


The aim of these new services is "to offer passengers a growing number of ways to personalise their experience", the US-based company explained, in the hope of "meeting or going beyond expectations for the journey" made by users of the app. Travellers will most notably be able to activate "silent mode" in advance, which will inform the driver picking them up not to disturb them by talking, should they wish to "reply to e-mails", for example, or "take a nap".

Similarly, it is now possible to let the driver know that the client will need "an extra pair of hands" to get their luggage into the boot. Users will also be able to set the "perfect temperature" that they wish to have inside the vehicle that will be picking them up. Other new features for before and after the journey have also been implemented by the company. 


Extra waiting time at no extra cost


Premium clients can now delay their pick-up time included in the charge, without having to pay the supplement that is usually required by the system in this case. A customer service is also available solely for Uber Black passengers, enabling them to speak with an operator via the telephone "should they wish to resolve a problem".

These functionalities which did not previously exist have been added to an already impressive range of services – not least the professionalism of its drivers – which sets Uber’s luxury offer apart from the competition. French radio station RTL pointed out that to qualify for Uber Black (or Berline) clients, drivers had to have made at least 2,500 journeys and have an average rating of at least 4.85 out of 5. 

The quality and condition of the car must also be above reproach if it is to earn Uber Black or Berline status. Drivers must carefully select and then maintain their vehicles in order to respect and uphold the standards set by the company, as well as being required to offer the passenger sweets, a bottle of water and their choice of radio station.


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