When you want to get in touch with your Uber driver, you can either call them or send them an SMS. But what if you don’t want to share your phone number? Or you’re traveling abroad and don’t have roaming? Or you want context for the SMS you receive? Uber has thought of those issues and so they have now started rolling out the in-app chat feature to both riders and drivers, for a more convenient way to communicate with each other.

Basically, the features works like any other in-app chat feature. If you want to send a message to your Uber pickup, just tap contact, and then chat and your driver should be able to receive and respond. But don’t worry about road safety and all that since the app actually reads the message out loud to the driver whenever they receive one. And they can acknowledge receipt of the message by giving a thumbs up, and so no need to type out and get distracted while driving.

Both the driver and rider will be able to confirm that they actually received the communication, preventing any misunderstanding or miscommunication. It should be able to work anywhere regardless of location, so those traveling to another country will no longer need to have a local SIM or get roaming when traveling. Best of all, you don’t need to share your phone number, preserving privacy for both of you.

Drivers will also be able to initiate a chat but Uber will caution them that they should only do so if they’re parked and not driving. They’re starting rolling out the feature both to drivers and riders over the next few weeks.

SOURCE: Uber