App-based taxi aggregator Uber came to India about three years ago. It started off with basic features of booking a cab, checking price estimates, and payments with mobile wallets. But in the last three years, Uber analyzed the needs of the audience in India, and has since then launched some features that were integrated into the app keeping in mind the Indian audience exclusively. Some of these features remain to be exclusive in India, and some of these, according to their relevance, were eventually rolled out to other markets as well. Below are five features Uber introduced for the Indian riders, and how these features work. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelinesAlso Read - Uber launches 'Uber Connect' package delivery service to rival Dunzo and Swiggy Genie
At the time of its launch in India, Uber only had the UberX and UberBLACK services, which were then relatively expensive than usual taxi fares. However, looking at the cost-conscious Indian market, in November 2014, Uber launched the UberGO service, featuring a new fleet of low cost hatchbacks. With the introduction of UberGO, the service started to make a lot more sense to daily commuters with the fares priced even lower than kaali-peeli taxis.
Earlier restricted to mobile wallet payments, last year Uber rolled out the option of payment by cash. Many Indian riders have been apprehensive about using mobile wallets like Airtel Money or Paytm as the only modes of payment, consequently keeping them from taking an Uber frequently. However, with the introduction of cash, it was like taking an autorickshaw or any other kaali-peeli. ALSO READ: RBI makes it compulsory for Uber to follow two-step authentication for payments in India
If you are new to Uber, in order to change your payment method, follow these few steps. Launch the Uber app, and tap on the settings icon on the top left. The first option would be Payment, tap on that to see various methods of payment to choose from. Check cash if that is your choice, otherwise you would have an option to choose Paytm or Airtel Money or in other payment methods, you will have an option to pay through your credit or debit card.
Also, with increasing number of instances of molestation, rape and accidents, which involved Uber, the company found it necessary to introduce an Emergency SOS option. The feature immediately connects a user with local authorities in the event of an emergency while on an Uber ride. Two things happens when a rider pushes the SOS option, they are immediately able to connect with local law enforcement on the phone, and a real-time SOS alert is automatically generated and sent directly to the local Police control room.
The instantaneous alert contains critical trip information including exact vehicle location (tracked via GPS). This information is projected on a dedicated screen in the control room of local law enforcement, which has been set up by Uber s safety experts. This latest tech upgrade to the existing SOS feature enables the police to act within seconds of being alerted in the rare event of an emergency, when every second counts.
In order to push the Emergency SOS, a rider need to go to Settings on the Uber app, in the pull out drawer they d notice an option called Help, tapping on that would pop up an option to hit on Emergency SOS then and there. ALSO READ: Here s how you can book an Uber cab for someone else
Uber DOST is a networking platform by Uber, which helps people on the platform refer other who they think would be interested in joining uber. The UberDOST platform runs on a symbiotic relation, while Uber gets access to the network to hire people for its service, which otherwise it wasn t able to reach. The people referring candidates for the company make many on each referral that they make.
Dial an Uber
Few months ago, Uber also launched a new feature called Dial an Uber, which allows users to book an Uber cab without installing the app. Even now, many areas in India have issues of poor network coverage, and for such areas this feature is a bliss. In order to make an app-less booking, all a rider need to do is to go to dial.uber.com webpage. The page prompts a Start Riding option, which is how the process of booking begins on the site. It will then ask for the rider s phone number, so they can be contacted and notified regarding their booking. ALSO READ: How to book an Uber without installing the app
While these features were rolled out in India and proved quite beneficial for Indian users. Recently, Uber launched the Schedule a ride feature in India, which was rolled out first in other Uber markets and then came to India last month. The scheduled ride option allows a rider to pre-book an Uber cab 15 minutes to 30 days in advance. When booked, the traveler will be sent a booking reminder once 24 hours before the booking and another final reminder 30 minutes before the cab arrives. With the scheduling option, users can be sure that be it midnight or traffic rush hour, the advance booking will get them a cab at the time and date they need it. ALSO READ: Uber begins rolling out option to schedule ride, here s how it works