Uber adds real-time translation for drivers and passengers

Uber’s new translation tool in action.


Uber has made it a goal to facilitate communication between drivers and passengers. In a redesign of the app that was released on Thursday, February 27, the on-demand driver company added a language translation tool that can be used via text messages. This means that if a passenger does not speak the same language as their driver, they will still be able to communicate within the app.

Before now, in-app texts between drivers and passengers would appear in the passenger’s preferred language. Now, with the new tool, both parties can tap to translate a message into the language of their choice. More than 100 languages ​​will be supported on the app, says Uber.

“We anticipate this will be of great help to drivers whose primary language is not English,” Uber wrote in a blog post Thursday. “And for passengers when they travel to a foreign country.”

Uber last redesigned its app in September by merging its travel app with its Uber Eats app, giving its food delivery service more prominence. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at the time that the redesign was part of the company’s efforts to become “the operating system for your everyday life.”

Along with the translation feature, Uber also tweaked its app on Thursday to give riders more information about the status of their ride when they wait for drivers to pick them up. The app will now show passengers a series of notifications about their pickup, including the minutes remaining until the driver arrives, where to find them, and instructions on how to navigate large venues like airports or concert arenas.

“We have also made the text in the app more understandable and visible when a driver approaches the arrival,” said Uber. “When your trip is nearing completion, you will also receive reminders about the safe exit of the vehicle.”

The new Uber features will reach all Uber users around the world in the coming days.

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