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Uber is trying to win you back by letting you request rides for loved ones

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Uber has had a relatively tough time as of late garnering empathy from its user base. Despite an apology and the resignation of the company’s CEO, the ridesharing company still appears to have its work cut out in terms of winning over the public. But a new feature may help elicit warm and fuzzy feelings — it is a way for you to request a ride, not for yourself, but rather for a loved one.

Think of it as a great way to ensure that your grandmother gets from her home to your doorstep, or for your lucky significant other to get to the surprise date you planned. Now, when you request a ride in Uber, if you select a pickup address that is different from your current location, you will be asked if the ride is meant for a family member or friend. Then, you can select the passenger from your contact list, set his or her destination, and request the ride for him or her.

Once the Uber driver is en route, the rider will be notified via text message with both the driver’s details and a link to track the route. If they need to, they will also be able to contact the driver directly (and vice versa — if the driver gets lost, he or she can contact the passenger without going through you, the requester).

The focus of Uber’s new feature is an older generation of users who may have a phone (or even a smartphone) but not the technical knowhow to handle actually hailing a ride. “Seniors are concerned about losing their mobility as they age, and their loved ones can feel overwhelmed when managing the senior’s transportation needs,” Uber said. “Furthermore, today nearly 10 percent of the global population consists of people aged 65 and over and that number is only expected to increase.” The solution? Your good will.

“We’re committed to providing safe, reliable transportation options for everyone in the family,” Uber wrote. “So no matter where your loved ones need to be — and where you are located — a safe, reliable ride is just a few taps away.”

Uber already introduced this feature in more than 30 countries and more locations are said to be “coming soon.” You will need to have the most updated version of the app in order to take advantage of the new functionality, though.

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