Uber will now let users request rides for other people. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Uber has announced that its iOS and Android app will now allow users to request rides for someone else. The new feature is rolling out in the United States starting today and will be available to 30 other countries.

“Now, when you set the pickup away from your current location, we’ll automatically ask whether the ride is for a family member or friend,” Uber said on its blog post. “You can then select the rider from your address book, set their destination, and request the ride on their behalf.”

When the driver is on the way, the rider will receive a text message with the driver’s details, along with the name of who’s paying for the trip. The text message will include the driver’s name, car, license plate and a phone number to contact the driver. There’s also a link where the rider will be able to track the driver’s route. All in all, the feature should be able to cater to everyone, even those who don’t have smartphones.

Uber product manager Kyle Miller explained that this will be useful for people who need to provide rides for their aging loved ones. “On the product team, we’re focused on making Uber accessible to everyone in the family, and on making people’s lives easier around the world,” Miller told TechCrunch.

“What we’ve learned through research is that at a macro level, people want an easy way to request a ride for a loved one. This was in particular a big request for riders internationally, whose loved ones maybe don’t have smartphones or good connectivity, with also a specific emphasis on seniors.”

The feature is now rolling out in the U.S., but it should be available in 30 other countries at the same time, including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines. Uber says that the new feature will also be making its way to other additional markets soon.

Although the person who requested for the ride can pay through his or her stored credit card on the Uber app, the rider will be able to pay in cash. Riders can simply pay in cash once they’ve arrived to their destination. Of course, this will only apply to places where cash payments are accepted by Uber, as pointed out by Business Insider.

This isn’t actually the first time that Uber has experimented with this type of feature. Last summer, Uber actually tested out a phone dispatch system in Florida, as pointed out by The Verge. This enabled low-income residents to simply call-in Uber rides. This change is focused on delivering the ride-hailing service to those who aren’t so tech-savvy.

It's worth taking note that Uber appears to be taking steps to make its services a bit more family-friendly. The company actually launched its Family Profiles feature for its app last year, and the app allowed one person to pay for all rides taken by a specific group of people. Although the feature is called Family Profiles, it can also be used by a group of friends or coworkers.