Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber
David Paul Morris | Reuters
Uber notified several updates Wednesday during the company’s annual Go-Get product display.
The new options include the ability to book a ride with a car seat, to call an Uber without the app, and to add teenagers to a family profile, among others. This year’s Go-Get event marks Uber’s first in-person press conference since the pandemic.
“Whether you stay at home or get out there, we build with people for people,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the event.
Uber shares are up about 51% so far this year, and in a release about Ubers results for the first quarter earlier this month, Khosrowshahi said the company is off to a “strong start” to the year. The new options provide an example of how the company hopes to maintain its momentum while competitors such as e.g Liftwhich is down about 25% so far this year, continues to struggle.
Here are the key new deals announced Wednesday:
Uber car seat
Families and caregivers in Los Angeles and New York City will be able to request a ride with a car seat for children up to 65 pounds as part of Uber’s partnership with car seat company Nuna. Uber plans to roll out this feature in more cities in the future.
Uber has introduced a phone number that people can call to book a ride without using the Uber app. The company said this will help people who may struggle to navigate smartphones or apps access the same “effortless” Uber experience. People in the United States can request a ride by speaking English or Spanish at 1-833-USE-UBER or 1-833-873-8237.
“We all know that not everyone is comfortable using a phone or an app to call an Uber, like my mother-in-law,” Khosrowshahi said. “What could be easier for her?”
Family profiles and teen accounts
Starting May 22, teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will be able to request their own deliveries and rides. Consenting parents and guardians will have full control over their teens’ accounts, and can monitor trips and deliveries in real time. Uber said only “highly rated” and experienced drivers will be able to conduct rides with teenagers.
Teen accounts will be available in select cities in the US and Canada. They can be set up and managed within a “family profile” in the Uber app, which allows multiple accounts to be linked under one centralized payment method.
“It’s about helping you deal with the craziness that encompasses family life in 2023,” Khosrowshahi said during the event.
Group food orders
Family members, friends or roommates can now create group grocery orders through Uber Eats. Users can invite participants to add items, set recurring orders, and set deadlines for when to order. Eligible merchants also help groups sort out costs by automatically splitting the bill.
With group rides, Uber users will soon be able to invite friends and family to add their addresses to a ride. Uber will automatically update the stops so the driver takes the most efficient route, and each individual will be charged according to how long they spent on the trip.
Video gift messages
Uber Eats users can record a personalized video message in the app when sending gifts to friends and family. The video will be available for gift recipients to watch in their Uber Eats app.
Initially, users will only be able to attach videos to monetary gift cards sent through the platform, but Uber said it will soon expand to deliveries as well.