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Lyft Contemplates Offering Rides Where Your Driver Says Nothing

Lyft Contemplates Offering Rides Where Your Driver Says Nothing

Ride-sharing services can save you a fortune when getting from the airport to the hotel or around town, but if you’re looking for a quiet ride, they’re often not the best option.

Lyft, though, is considering a mode for people looking to get from point A to point B without the chitchat.

Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s head of product for autonomous driving, said the company has considered the idea when he was a guest on the The Verge’s Converge podcast.

Dubbed “zen mode,” it’s meant to signal to drivers that passengers who don’t make small talk aren’t trying to be rude; they just want a little peace and quiet.

“We have thought about it,” said Matthiesen. “I think it’s interesting. At some point, we may play around with that idea, but that’s unfortunately not a feature at this point.”

Will zen mode make it beyond the contemplation phase? Hard to say. Matthiesen noted, for instance, that Lyft’s push to bring self-driving cars into its fleet could make that feature obsolete.

“The autonomous car is going to know a lot more [about you],” he said. “It’s going to know your temperature that you’re going to want. It’s probably also going to know that it’s early in the morning, and so it’s going to have a dark-lit cabin to let you sleep. Maybe you can even relax in the seat, and the back will extend into some sort of lie-flat mode. Maybe not complete lie-flat, just based on the area, but a good recline.”

Still, judging by social media, the idea of a driver who focuses on the road and not the passenger’s life story is a pretty appealing one.

The call for quiet drivers isn’t limited to Lyft. Uber passengers are just as vocal in their pleas for silence.

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