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Uber Adds Live Location Sharing, Send a Gift, and More Features Ahead of Holiday Season

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Uber Adds Live Location Sharing, Send a Gift, and More Features Ahead of Holiday Season
Highlights
  • Uber brings Live Location Sharing feature
  • It is limited to select markets as of now
  • "Request for a Guest" also introduced

Ride-hailing app Uber is introducing new features to its app ahead of the holiday season. The company is introducing live location sharing feature which can help the rider as well as the driver of an Uber to easily find one another. Uber is targeting the upcoming holiday season with its new set of features.

The feature can be handy when taking an Uber from a mall or an airport where we generally book an Uber well in advance, and don't reach the pickup spot in time. The Live Location feature can come in handy as it will update the driver whether the rider is close by. Uber users can turn on live location feature within the app by tapping the grey icon in the bottom right corner of the display. When the icon turns blue, the rider is sharing their live location with the driver. Uber says that users can change the live location by tapping the icon on the map or by privacy settings in the app.

Another user-friendly app being rolled out in limited regions is an expansion of the beacon system that will help users spot an Uber. Beacon can be installed on a driver's windshield to help drivers and riders quickly connect in crowded places. Uber says that the beacon feature is now expanding to New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. To easily differentiate from other beacons, Uber is also adding a colour change option for users which will allow them to edit the colour of the beacon on the Uber.

Another much-demanded feature is being added called "Request for a Guest" which was recently announced for the Indian market as well. This will enable Uber app users to book an Uber for a friend regardless of where the user or guest are located. For booking an Uber for guests, the user can tap on Where to? as normally done and then choose who is riding above pickup location. The rider will receive trip information in an SMS text message including ETA, car type, and driver contact information. The driver will be able to see the rider's name, and be able to contact.

Another feature being rolled out to Uber users ahead of holiday season is in-app gifting. This will allow Uber users to send Uber credits to a friend or family member from the app. For sending Uber credit, tap the menu then Send a Gift and select the amount. After entering the amount, enter the recipient and a custom message for the receiver.

Separately, the ride hailing app may be working on a feature that will decrease motion sickness. The Next Web reports that a new patent filed by Uber has been spotted. The new feature is likely to be used in Uber's self-driving cars and will analyse rider's behaviour while riding in a driverless Uber. The patent tips that Uber is collecting data for creating "sensory simulation system" to keep motion sickness at bay. The methods to keep a user away from motion sickness will include vibrating seats and a light bar, if required.

"With the advent of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, rider attention may be focused on alternative activities, such as work, socializing, reading, writing, task-based activities (e.g., organisation, bill payments, online shopping, gameplay), and the like," the patent said.

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