Uber Adds Quiet Mode, Other Features to Premium Service

Uber Technologies Inc. is launching new rider preference options to its top-end Uber Black ride-hailing service in the U.S.

This includes a quiet mode for people who don’t want to chat with their drivers. Uber says this is one of the most requested features from riders.

When an Uber Black luxury sedan or SUV is ordered on their smartphone app, riders can now choose quiet, "happy to chat" or no preference. But changes can’t be made while waiting for the vehicle to arrive or once the ride has started.

Riders also can specify interior temperature settings, help with their luggage and a longer timeframe to meet a car when it arrives for a pickup. Currently, Uber Black drivers are supposed to wait 15 minutes after arriving, with charges accruing after five minutes. Uber also is adding a phone support service that connects riders with agents to help coordinate their trips.

The company also promises a higher level of consistent quality of Uber Black vehicles and professionalism among drivers. Designed to compete against limousines, Uber Black typically costs about twice as much as a base UberX ride.