For some Uber customers, having to engage in conversations with their drivers can be quite uncomfortable. Now, thanks to the ride service’s new ‘Quiet Ride’ button, you can request for silence, but only if you are okay with paying a 20 percent to 40 percent premium on top of the UberX price.
The ‘Uber Comfort’ tier is available in a total of 43 cities and smaller states in the US, offering premium access to mid-size cars with more legroom, higher-rated drivers and Rider Preferences where customers can control the temperature in cars as well as the extent of how much their Uber drivers can talk.
Settings include “quiet preferred,” “happy to chat,” “no preference,” and temperature settings. The options were launched back in May as part of Uber’s “luxury” Black and SUV car services.
Critics have pointed out that Uber’s contractors might be forced to act like robots with the Rider’s Preferences, and their jobs are likely to be taken over by self-driving Ubers soon.
However, others support the ‘Uber Comfort’ tier, as they believe riders are paying for the services and therefore have the right to assert their preferences.
An Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that the reception to the “Quiet Mode” has been “generally positive,” and added that riders actually appreciate the control they have over the environment in the car, especially business travelers who need to focus. Apparently, drivers also find it easier to do their job without “guesswork.”
It is also important to note that the “Quiet Mode” is not a setting for absolute silence, but simply a “conversation preference.”