Unfortunately, the feature will only be available for the rideshare app's pricier Uber Black and Uber Black SUV services, so mere mortals like myself won't be able to enjoy it. The new Quiet Mode allows users to keep the conversing from drivers to a minimum, all by simply selecting the option within the app when requesting a ride.
"Uber Black and Uber Black SUV riders told us they wanted high-quality service and premium comfort," Uber's Senior Product Manager Aydin Ghajar said in a press release Wednesday. "That's why we've improved features and requirements to meet or exceed their expectations on every ride." Additional updates include luggage assistance, pre-ride temperature control, and more.
As pointed out in a lengthy TechCrunch report on the feature, critics with the attitude that avoiding conversation with a driver isn't worth the hassle are missing a key potential benefit. That assessment, Josh Constine notes, "ignores the fact that women often feel uncomfortable when male drivers incessantly talk to them, and it can get scary when it turns into unwanted flirtation."
Drivers for the app, as well as for competitor Lyft, launched a strike earlier this month ahead of the company's public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The global initiative was a protest against the finances-limiting classification of drivers as contractors instead of employees.
Anyway, now it's time for someone to invent Quiet Mode for this little game called life. It's all too loud right now.