Aside from the AI assistant, which will be integrated into the Uber Eats platform later this year, the company is introducing more features to diversify its payment options.
Uber Technologies is gearing up to introduce an AI chatbot feature on its Uber Eats food delivery platform. The chatbot, set to go live later this year, will serve customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
According to a company blog post on Wednesday, the AI assistant, powered by Google’s PaLM 2 large language model, will initially assist users in finding restaurant deals and easily reordering their favorite dishes. Subsequently, it will expand its capabilities to help users plan meals, discover grocery sales, and even order ingredients based on recipes.
Uber Joins Other Grocery Platforms to Embrace AI Technology
The move aligns with the company’s strategy to enhance the overall user experience and boost customer retention. Uber said the chatbot’s primary objective is to simplify user engagement, allowing customers to initiate conversations and receive tailored recommendations. For instance, users can request budget-friendly Mexican options delivered within 30 minutes, and the AI tool will promptly provide suitable suggestions.
The company anticipates that this feature will save both time and effort for its customers.
A recent demonstration showcased the tool’s versatility by offering picnic snack recommendations, including items like Gouda cheese and chocolate chip cookies from local supermarkets. It also caters to health-conscious users, suggesting organic choices like fresh fruit.
The company is not the first to join the AI trend to explore other opportunities for its customers.
Other food delivery platforms like Instacart and DoorDash have also embraced AI, introducing features like Instacart’s “Ask Instacart” tool and DoorDash’s “DashAI” chatbot to enhance the food ordering and grocery shopping experience.
Uber to Introduce More Technological Features into Its Platform
Aside from the AI assistant, which will be integrated into the Uber Eats platform later this year, the company is introducing more features to diversify its payment options, adding flexibility to its platform. Some of the new features include the introduction of a dedicated “Sales Aisle” section, where users can easily discover and take advantage of promotional offers.
Additionally, Uber Eats plans to integrate payments from the Federal Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT/SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps, into its platform in 2024. The move is intended to allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits for grocery purchases on the platform.
“Helping to improve access to quality food is incredibly important to our work at Uber, and we’re proud to use Uber’s technology and extensive local delivery networks to offer SNAP recipients the ability to use their benefits to access fresh groceries conveniently from our app in 2024,” said Therese Lim, senior director of product, Uber Eats New Verticals and Uber Direct.
The company is also working with Medicaid and Medicare Advantage health plans to make it easier for users to pay for meals using FSA Cards, Flex Cards, and related waivers.
Beginning in 2024, users can use any of the payment options on both Uber and Uber Eats. According to Lim, the move aims to simplify users’ access to healthy food options and local grocery stores.