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17th May 2019

Uber riders will be able to pay their driver to shut up

Black Mirror is empty and all its devils are here

Oli Dugmore

Uber drivers will have a 'chat' toggle feature

Black Mirror is empty and all its devils are here

Uber is set to introduce a feature allowing riders to toggle driver conversation.

In the US a “quiet mode” feature will be introduced for the more expensive Uber Black and Uber Black SUV premium rides.

Options “quiet preferred,” “happy to chat” or “no preference” can be selected before paying for a ride.

Uber said: “If you need to respond to emails or are in the mood for a nap, make your trip a quieter one with just one tap. If you’re in the mood to chat, that’s an option too.”

Aydin Ghajar, the company’s product manager, told TechCrunch: “We’re looking to create more differentiation between the premium products and the regular products to encourage more trips.

“The reaction of Uber Black drivers was overwhelmingly positive because they want to deliver a great experience to their rider, but they don’t necessarily know what the rider wants.

“These guys take a lot of pride in what they do as customer service agents.”

Drivers will not be required to abide the preference because of employment laws but the threat of a negative rating hangs over, the dystopian sword of Damocles.

Other features added include large luggage and air con control.

Welcome to the future.