Ride-sharing giant Uber has introduced a new feature in Australia where riders can call for a car instead of using its app.
The feature, which debuted in the United States last year, has been introduced to help improve access to transportation for older Australians, according to the company.
This comes as new research commissioned by Uber found 93 per cent of Australians aged 65+ feel more confident booking a service via a phone call.
And 43 per cent of Australians in this age group don’t feel very confident booking services entirely via mobile apps.
Dom Taylor, managing director at Uber ANZ, said the company “often hears” from riders whose family members want to use the app but don’t know how to use smartphones.
“Our mission is to provide every customer with the opportunity to use Uber, the way they would like to. This is a full circle moment for Uber, with this feature bringing the convenience of live phone support to our matching technology so everyday Australians can book a ride the way they want,” Taylor said.
To use, Aussies can dial 13-UBER or 13 82 37 to book a car between 5am to 8pm and can book one up to 90 days in advance. The feature is available in 43 cities and towns across the country.
@gizmodoau Testing out Uber’s new calling feature 🚗 #uber #tech #techtok #learnontiktok #australia ♬ original sound – Gizmodo AU
If you don’t have an Uber account when you call, you’ll have to spend some time creating one on the phone.
Riders can ask for the same selection that appears on the app, so UberX, green, comfort, UberXL.
However, users will still need a smartphone as they will receive texts to confirm a booking when the driver arrives and information about the vehicle.
For those wondering about the tracking, Uber said all trips are GPS tracked and “all drivers are safety vetted before access is granted to the Uber platform”.
Their vehicle must also pass an independent annual inspection to verify that it is safe to drive.
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Uber for additional comments.
Editor’s note: At the time of publication Googling “13 Uber” the first result is 13 CABS, interesting.
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