Uber wants to increase its potential user base by making it easier for you to request rides for other people.
Though it’s already possible to request a ride for someone else, for example, your drunk friend or an elderly relative who may not own a smartphone, the Uber account holder would have to remain as the main point of contact. Now, however, when you indicate a pickup point that isn’t your current location, Uber will ask if it’s for another person and invite you to select the person’s details from your address book and stipulate where they’re going.
Next, your friend or relative will receive an SMS with all the relevant information, including the driver’s name, car registration, phone number, and a link to track the driver’s whereabouts. This means that those who don’t have a smartphone can call the driver (and vice versa), while those who do have a smartphone can track the driver’s route even if they don’t have the Uber app installed.
This is actually a super useful feature, one that doesn’t just enable Uber account holders to book cars for friends and family, it actively encourages it.
The feature is landing today in 30 countries around the world, with “more coming soon,” according to an Uber blog post.