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Shut Up And Drive: Riders And Drivers React To New Uber Feature That Lets You Pay For A Silent Ride

Uber riders will have the option now to pay to not speak to their drivers.
Uber riders will have the option now to pay to not speak to their drivers.
Jeff Chiu/AP

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Ride hailing company Uber has rolled out a suite of new features for its popular mobile app and among them is a new option that users have been requesting for some time: an option to ask that your driver not talk during the ride.

The feature will be available to riders who choose to ride Uber Black or Uber Black SUV, the company’s luxury service tier, and yes, you will have to shell out if you want to ask your driver to be silent during your ride. Now, that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t simply order a regular Uber and ask the driver yourself. But for those who might feel awkward asking the question directly of the driver, the app’s new feature will allow you to choose whether you’d like a silent ride when you are booking the car. You’ll also have options to tell your driver what your optimal car temperature is, whether you have luggage and would like your driver to help load it, and even request an extended pick up window if you think you might be delayed.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of this new feature and hear reactions from Uber drivers and frequent users.

We contacted Uber to request comment but they declined our interview request.


Josh Constine, editor-at-large for TechCrunch who has been following the story; he tweets @JoshConstine

Jay Cradeur, full-time Uber and Lyft driver with more than 24,000 rides and a contributor to “The Rideshare Guy” blog where he wrote about Uber’s ‘quiet mode’; he also has his own ridesharing site and podcast called “Rideshare Dojo”; he tweets @jaycradeur