Uber is trying a ‘new’ way of communicating with customers to offer its on-demand rides – the telephone, a device that enables you to speak to a human being.

The disruptor that has built a business model around an app is piloting the new phone-booking service – aimed at older users – in cities it already serves in the US State of Arizona.

Uber users will be able to dial a number from any mobile phone and speak with a live operator (able to speak Spanish and English) who will serve as an intermediary between rider and driver.

The caller will need a phone with basic text-based messaging functionality, where they will receive key messages, such as their expected ETA, details about the driver and car and the trip receipt.

Riders will not need to be pre-registered to use the service; an account can quickly be set up on the phone, Uber claims. There is no additional charge for using the telephone service, beyond any standard carrier rates for sending text messages.

The new service could be rolled out across the US soon.