Uber sees this behavior, and that's why it introduced a feature for app developers to implement earlier this month called Trip Experiences.
The idea behind Trip Experiences is to make the apps on your phone smarter, or more "magical," during an Uber ride. That could mean Spotify knows how much time you have in the car and queues up the perfect playlist. Or maybe your favorite news app knows to show you a 10-minute briefing of the day's headlines.
It could also mean that Uber becomes a platform for other apps to build upon, just like the iPhone birthed the App Store and, by extension, Uber itself.
"The idea is that you open the app and you have this magical experience," Chris Saad, the head of Uber's developer platform, said. You can fill in "the app" with any app that could potentially benefit from knowing that you're on an Uber ride and where you're headed.
“It’s a really valuable chunk of time," Uber head of business Dmitry Shevelenko said. "For a lot of folks, their time in an Uber is the biggest distraction-free period they get all day long.”
When an app like Facebook Messenger supports Trip Experiences (Messenger already integrates with Uber, but only for requesting a ride), Saad suggests it could be informed that you're on a ride and prompt you to share your ETA in a message thread.
“Whenever you enable a new platform like this, a new surface area, new startups can get born," Saad says. "New metaphors and new interaction patterns can get born.”