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Uber now lets you ‘Request for a Loved One’

Secure a ride for your loved ones with Uber in four simple steps: Enter a pickup point, select a rider, enter a drop-off point, choose our payment method. Uber will send a text message that contains the driver’s details, route and tracking link to your loved one.

MANILA, Philippines - No, Uber is not turning into the new Tinder, where you can swipe for “loved ones.” With its latest feature, Uber recognizes the needs of markets that are not yet fully connected, whether via cellular data or actual cellphone accessibility — which makes it perfect for the Philippines. Calling it the “Request for a Loved One” feature is especially appealing to this market, although in reality, the function can address a myriad of needs.

Last June 26, in teleconference with Uber product manager Kyle Miller, Uber launched this feature worldwide to an international panel of journalists. It’s simple, really: we can now use our own apps to book rides for others — our moms who don’t have the Uber app, our grandparents who still use flip phones, our officemates who are running low on juice and are stranded somewhere, our friends who are having trouble booking a ride home from an event in BGC during Friday night rush hour. This is something we’ve already been doing — Uber is just making it official (aww!) and easier by allowing the account owners to book, including the name and number of the rider, and creating a platform in which the driver and rider can message each other directly. It eliminates the need for screengrabbing the driver’s details and sending the photo to your mom, boyfriend, or boss. This means you also don’t have to keep calling the driver for your loved one — now the rider can do that. The rider can now also track the location of the driver via a link that they will get through text message. They don’t need to have the Uber app installed on their smartphones to be able to track and contact the driver.

The feature in now available in over 30 countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Langka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Macau. So it also comes in handy while traveling.

“This is for people who don’t have smartphones or connectivity. It’s great for managing our senior loved ones’ transportation needs. Now markets where there’s lower smartphone penetration will be able to unlock the magic of Uber,” Miller says.

Update your Uber app to the latest version and test the feature by entering a pick-up point other than your current location. This will prompt the app to ask “Who’s riding,” and let you enter your loved one’s details.

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