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New Uber feature to silence drivers – but it comes at a price

It is well-known that taxi drivers often like to chat with their customers, but if you prefer a quieter journey, then ride-hailing app Uber has the answer.

However, it comes at a price.

The company, which recently floated on the New York Stock Exchange, is offering customers in the US a new "quiet mode" feature, which allows them to opt out of any unwanted chit-chat.

But it is only available for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV premium rides, which are more expensive as the name suggests.

Image: Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi was on hand as the bell rang to commence trading on the NYSE

There are three options to choose from, "quiet preferred", "happy to chat" or the setting can be left at "no preference" before paying for a trip.

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Uber said of the new feature: "If you need to respond to emails or are in the mood for a nap, make your trip a quieter one with just one tap. If you're in the mood to chat, that's an option too."

The company's product manager Aydin Ghajar told TechCrunch that a quiet journey was something that customers had wanted to see introduced for some time.

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He told the website: "We're looking to create more differentiation between the premium products and the regular products to encourage more trips."

He added: "The reaction of Uber Black drivers was overwhelmingly positive because they want to deliver a great experience to their rider, but they don't necessarily know what the rider wants.

Uber customers have apparently wanted a quiet option for a while
Image: Uber customers have apparently wanted a quiet option for a while

"These guys take a lot of pride in what they do as customer service agents."

But Uber drivers will not have to necessarily abide by the requests due to employment laws.

Although they perhaps will in order to avoid a potential bad rating.

The quiet mode is among several new features, including a bags option, which means customers can let their Uber driver know they have luggage, so as to let them pullover and load up the boot.

There is also an option to control the temperature in the car, letting customers choose whether they want it to be nice and warm in their vehicle or whether they like it a bit cooler, allowing their driver to boost the air conditioning.

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