The cab service provider UBER is now thinking of coming up with an idea to let its customers book a cab without using the native application of Uber. The customers can simply book a cab by calling or a simple text message, they don’t have to use the app now. Uber is the San Francisco-headquartered company is also ready to experiment the ways to appreciate cab via favorite social media or chat options such as WhatsApp.
Head of engineering, Uber, Apurva Dalal said that company’s R&D center is located in Bengaluru and the team is working on the project. He said “In India and in other emerging markets, the application is not the only way to get an Uber, there are other ways in which we communicate in India we call, we SMS, we WhatsApp” Dalal said that the company wants to make Uber more approachable and more easy to operate so that everyone can operate Uber easily such as elderly people who never ever have used the application on the phone.
Apurva Dalal also adds that “We are working at all these areas be it people who don’t want to download the app, who want to download the app but it has the app itself be it SMSs, chats, social media etc.” In the past, Uber was not ready to open a ca call centre for the phone-based bookings.
The competitor cab service provider OLA company have already started a feature of booking a cab offline without the use of the internet. A customer can book a cab just by sending their location via SMS.
According to Uber “Dial, an Uber has been quite positive, especially in tier-II cities, where users with feature phones or limited data connectivity have used the service more frequently.” “What works in India works really well for other emerging markets as well. Cash launched two years ago, has done well in Jakarta and even some developed markets” Dalal adds.
“Some of the state governments and cities such as Maharashtra, Bengaluru, Delhi etc are pushing that companies should have working call centres so that it could also be a factor. Uber is also looking at ways in which the app can work on suboptimal networks and even on low-end smartphones. We have got these really low-end devices, sub Rs 3,000 devices, our app was not built for that. The app was made for iOs and Android devices which had a decent amount of computing power. So, how do we make our app for low-end devices, patchy networks, etc is the task.”
Apurva Dalal also added that “WhatsApp is certainly very universal, so we are asking is there a way to do something through any of these chatting channels or social network where they can book a ride directly.”