Uber rolls out safety features, including faster 911 calls

13 Abril, 2018, 06:31 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Uber CEO responds to proposed ridesharing tax hike in DC

Uber's latest effort to deal with rider safety follows numerous past headlines about unsafe situations with drivers.

Trusted Contacts can get your travel information.

Uber is looking to be virtually a one-stop transportation shopping app, saying on Wednesday it will add new services, including car-sharing and train tickets.

Should an incident - such as a robbery or auto crash - occur during an Uber drive, passengers will soon be able to dial 911 using a dedicated "emergency button" in the Uber app. In 2015, Houston prosecutors alleged that an Uber driver took a drunk female passenger to his home and raped her. A 2014 study conducted by the Federal Communications Commission determined 10,000 lives could be saved every year if first responders met a 911 caller one minute sooner.

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The company said it also will bolster driver screening by mandating annual reviews of background checks to ensure drivers remain in compliance with its standards.

The company announced a string of new safety features Thursday morning in a blog on its website. "That's why as CEO, I'm committed to putting safety at the core of everything we do".

Now within the ride-hailing app riders can pick up to five people to list as "Trusted Contacts". The feature is now available only for riders, but Uber plans to launch it soon for drivers as well. If you'd only prefer to share trip details about rides you take at night, that will be a separate option. The company is starting a test program in Denver that lets riders use the emergency button to automatically send their location and trip details to the 911 operator.

And finally, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson - he served during Obama's second term - will chair Uber's Safety Advisory Board.

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