Uber is bringing one of its users’ most-requested features to Uber Black rides: “Quiet Mode.”
As of today, passengers in the US can request that drivers don’t talk to them by selecting “quiet preferred.” Alternatively, they can select “happy to chat” or “no preference.” The feature is only available with the premium Uber Black service, so customers using regular or UberPool services will still need to use their words to ask for quiet.
Other Uber Black upgrades include temperature preferences and a way to confirm in advance that a passenger has bags, so a driver knows to find a place to pull up and help load luggage in.
Uber product manager Aydin Ghajar told TechCrunch that Uber can’t force its drivers not to talk, although if a driver doesn’t behave in accordance with a customer’s wishes it might have a negative effect on their rating.
Some might see this is another nudge toward screen-bound dystopian silence, but for women who have been made uncomfortable by drivers flirting with them, not to mention introverts, the “Quiet Mode” option may be seen as a welcome development.