Uber launches in-app message translation in more than 100 languages

Uber is introducing a couple of new features designed to make ride pickups easier for both drivers and passengers. Firstly, the app interface has had a refresh to put more focus and transparency on ride arrival status, and secondly, a new translation tool has arrived, making it easier for riders to communicate with drivers that don’t speak their language.

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The redesign brings with it a sequence of actionable notifications for riders to follow to make sure they’re at the right pickup point at the right time, including a more prominent minutes to arrival alert and walking directions to the correct collection spot.

The app will now also include instructions for navigating common pickup points that are typically very busy, such as airports, arenas or event venues.

Uber is rolling out new features today to ease friction during the rider pickup process. As a global app available in more than 700 cities, Uber is frequently used by international travelers for the convenience and familiarity it offers. But language barriers can still cause problems, which is why Uber is now launching an in-app translation tool to ensure drivers and riders can communicate effectively.

Whatever language the driver uses to send a message can be translated by the rider with the tap of a button, thanks to a Google Translate integration. This works across more than 100 languages and is also available in the driver’s app for two-way conversation.

We anticipate this being most helpful for drivers whose primary language isn’t English, and for riders [who] are traveling abroad outside the U.S,” Uber wrote in a blog post.

Uber has recently introduced a number of new tools to improve its rider app. The San Francisco-based company recently revealed that it would start using hyper-local weather data from ClimaCell to improve ETA estimates, and it’s piloting a new feature that allows customers to request pet-friendly cars. Uber also announced this month that it was opening to telephone bookings in the U.S.

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