Uber announces revamped app, PIN system and more

At an event in San Francisco, California, Uber has revealed a redesign to its app alongside a variety of new updates.

What’s probably most interesting is that Uber is combining its Uber Eats app and the standard ride-hailing service into one app.

The app’s home page now lets users choose between grabbing a ride or ordering food. This will be especially tricky for drunken nights when you’re trying to get home, but get distracted by the new food option.

Uber is also introducing a new PIN service. Riders will get a four-digit PIN to share with their driver. The driver can enter the pin and if it’s correct, will start the trip.

This will be especially helpful to make sure you get into the right Uber after a night of clubbing and there are multiple ride-sharing vehicles at the venue. However, to make this even easier, Uber is testing a wireless feature that automatically shares the PIN when you’re in the vehicle.

Additionally, Uber is piloting a useful 911 via text functionality. In the Uber app there’s now an option for 911 Assistance. The app indicates exactly where you are, where you’re supposed to be going, alongside the license plate, make, model and colour of the vehicle you’re in.

This feature is useful if you’re in a vehicle with a driver that is being unsafe and you aren’t able to call to 911.

There’s also bike lane warnings that reminds users to look for people on bikes before opening the car door. Unlike the other safety features, this functionality is rolling out to Canada now.

Uber is also looking into a new enhanced facial recognition software to make sure the Uber driver who is picking you up is exactly who they say they are in the app. Similar to other new features,  this is for added safety.

Also, Uber is rolling out on-trip reporting so you can report your driver if they’re doing something unsafe such as texting and driving, watching a movie while driving, smoking weed or anything you deem risky.

Uber Eats is adding allergy-friendly filters allowing users to tell restaurants exactly what they’re allergic to in certain recipes.

With Uber Eats you’ll soon have to specifically ask for utensils, restaurants will no longer provide them by default.

A Uber Canada spokesperson told us at MobileSyrup that the above safety features are coming to Canada “in the coming months.”

Further, Uber Transit is expanding to more cities but, unfortunately, none of them are in Canada. Uber Rewards, the redeemable points that customers earn every time they order an Uber or get Uber Eats is also expanding. However, only to Brazil and Mexico.