Uber is preparing for the busy holiday travel season by adding more features to its ride-hailing app.
According to a news report in TechCrunch, one of the larger changes to the Uber app is the ability to engage in live location sharing, which enables you to let the driver know where you are without having to leave the main Uber screen. This added feature is designed to relieve some of the friction that occurs when the driver can’t find his or her rider.
To use the feature, which temporarily shares the rider’s location, the user has to turn on the live location by tapping an icon that is found on the map display. A blue icon lets the rider know the feature is active. Another mode, depicted in gray, indicates that the user is not sharing extra information with the driver. The user can toggle between the two modes.
The company is also expanding its beacon technology to make it easier for riders to find cars. Beacon relies on a hardware device that is in the windshield of the car. The technology will be available in more cities just in time for the holidays, noted the report.
Uber has also improved the process of requesting a ride for someone else, and includes a new in-app gifting ability to make it easier to give Uber credit to another rider right from the app.
In October, the ride-sharing company rolled out its no-annual-fee Uber Visa Card. In a blog post, the company said it created the card with its riders in mind after speaking with them about how and where they spend their money and what they want from a credit card. As a result, the Uber Visa Card enables users to earn rewards on all of their purchases. The rewards points increase when the credit card is used to purchase meals, book a trip, shop online or hail an Uber ride. Users can redeem the rewards for Uber credit, cash back or the choice of a variety of gift cards. The card also comes with an annual $50 subscription credit that can be used for services that include Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime membership.