Uber India today announced a new feature that lets you book an Uber ride via an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot without the need to download or use the Uber app. “Everything from user registration, booking a ride, and getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface,” said the company.
Uber said that is a global-first feature for Uber, and it is rolling out first in Lucknow. It will be available for users in New Delhi soon, and will gradually roll out India-wide next year.
Currently, the option to book a ride via WhatsApp will only be available in English language, but it will be expanded to other Indian languages soon. Additionally, the service is available to both new and existing users who registered with only a phone number on Uber.
Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development at Uber, said:
We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with. The integration makes Uber’s own app unnecessary: WhatsApp users can register, book rides and receive trip receipts entirely within the chat interface.
How does it work?
- Message to Uber’s business account number, scan a QR code or click a link directly to open an Uber WhatsApp chat.
- Send ‘Hi’ to get OTP
- Provide pickup and drop off locations.
- Receive upfront fare information for car or auto
- Confirm to get the driver’s expected time of arrival, information about name of the driver and license plate and diver’s location tracking en route to the pickup point, option to speak to the driver anonymously using a masked number are also available
- WhatsApp chat flow informs the rider about safety guidelines, including how to reach Uber in case of emergencies (type help on-trip).
- When “emergency” option is selected while on the trip, they will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support team.
- Riders can also access to the safety line numbers to call the Uber team, if needed, until 30 mins after the trip ends.