Several new safety features were unveiled by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at a press conference in New York on his anniversary with the ride-share company. Khosrowshahi plans to make Uber the safest transportation platform on the planet. The company’s new safety features protect the privacy and physical safety of both drivers and passengers.
One of Uber’s new features is Ride Check. The GPS-powered tool uses the sensors in smart phones to detect unprecedented stops and car collisions. If a collision is detected, a prompt will come up on both a driver and rider’s phone. The prompt allows drivers and riders to make an emergency 9-11 call or order a new ride paid for by the company.
If Ride Check detects an unprecedented stop, the app will send a text message to the rider asking if he or she is okay. The rider is able to make an emergency call or let Ride Check know that the situation is safe.
With the help of Rapid SOS, Uber also released a new emergency button. The emergency button sends the location and contract information of a driver or rider to the local police department.
Drivers also have a new hands free feature. They are now able to accept or decline trips through voice commands to prevent distracted driving. Drivers will also have educational resources available to them, including information about ride-share auto insurance. The update will also allow drivers to track the number of hours they have worked. Uber drivers are allowed to work a total of 12 hours before they must take a six hour break.
The updates also include privacy protection. Once the trip is over, the app will conceal the exact pick-up and drop-off locations. The driver’s history log will only show street names. Drivers and riders will also be able to send messages through the app or through anonymous numbers. Riders will also be able to enable two-factor identification to protect their information.
Uber has the difficult task of rebuilding trust with the public. In April, a CNN report found that 103
Uber drivers were accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers during the last four years. Of those accusations, 31 were convicted for crimes that included forcible touching, false imprisonment and rape.
The new safety features are now available for android users and will become available for iOS users in the next few weeks.