There are a lot of reasons why people like using Uber. It's often cheaper than traditional cabs, plus it's convenient because you can order a ride directly from the app and see roughly how much your journey will cost before you get in the car. Now the company is stepping things up an extra level, with an in-app chat system to let drivers and riders communicate more easily.
At the moment there's nothing stopping Uber drivers and their passengers communicating through third party apps, like WhatsApp or traditional SMS. But as Uber puts it, the new system takes away any level of uncertainty - meaning you know exactly who you're talking to at all times.
How it works is pretty simple. The passenger will send a message to their driver, and once it arrives the drivers phone will read it out loud. They can then acknowledged that they received the message by tapping the phone, which sends a thumbs-up to the passenger. That way everyone knows what's happening, and the driver doesn't get distracted by the phone.
Presumably the driver can send proper messages as well, like "Hi, I'm here where are you" or something.
To chat with drivers en-route, passengers simply need to head to their Uber feed, then hit 'contact' followed by 'chat'. Easy.
It doesn't really make up for the fairly evil actions of the past, but it's another step towards making Uber a better service for everyone involved.