Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company, is launching a new service in India that allows customers to book an Uber ride through an official Uber WhatsApp Chatbot, a first for the company and an expansion of WhatsApp’s capabilities in India.
The integration, which is a first for Uber, is being rolled out in Lucknow initially. It will next show it to people in New Delhi, with plans to roll it out across India next year. WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, has more than half a billion users in India, making it the country with the greatest single user base.
WhatsApp users can book an Uber ride in one of three ways: by messaging Uber’s business account number, scanning a QR code, or immediately opening an Uber WhatsApp chat by clicking a link. They will then be requested to provide pick-up and drop-off locations. Users will be given upfront fare information as well as the driver’s estimated arrival time.
The rider would be informed about safety guidelines via WhatsApp, including how to contact Uber in the event of an emergency (type help on-trip). The user will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support staff if they select the “emergency” option while on the ride. Until 30 minutes after the trip finishes, Uber riders will have access to the safety line numbers, which they can use to contact the Uber staff if necessary.
Uber drivers, on the other hand, will continue to have the same experience with rides booked using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s Business Platform serves as the foundation for the service. It aims to broaden access to Uber’s mobility products in India, one of the company’s major foreign markets.