Uber has announced the introduction of several new safety features such as an Uber Safety Helpline, RideCheck – a feature that detects trip irregularities – and Pin Verification to keep its community of riders and drivers safer.
The new safety features come following an uproar on social media over incidents involving Uber drivers.
Uber says the new features, which will be available in a few weeks, underscore Uber’s continued global commitment to making safety one of its highest priorities across all regions.
The safety announcements included the following new features:
- Uber Safety Helpline: The new safety helpline will provide riders with the option to get in touch with Uber’s safety team should they have an urgent but non-emergency issue during a trip, such as reporting misbehaviour by a co-passenger, a dispute with a driver or a break-down. At the tap of a button, riders can immediately connect with Uber’s response team, where safety experts will be available 24×7.
How this works:
- Step 1: Rider needs to contact Uber to report a non-emergency safety incident and taps the shield icon
- Step 2: Taps the safety helpline icon
- Step 3: Swipes to speak to an Uber representative
- RideCheck: This new safety feature will enable Uber to flag certain trip irregularities, like long, unexpected stops, in some rare cases, indicate an increased safety risk. If an anomaly is detected, Uber will initiate a RideCheck by reaching out to both the rider and the driver. This marks the first step by Uber to proactively reach out to users during a trip and offer tools they may need to get help.
- PIN Verification: The safety PIN is a trip verification feature to help ensure riders are getting into the car they are matched with through the app. Riders will receive a 4-digit PIN that they can provide to their driver who can start the trip in the app only when the correct PIN is entered. In addition to the PIN, Uber is working on advanced technologies that will in the future use ultrasound waves to automatically transmit the safety PIN for verifying rides.
Head of Central Operations, Uber South Asia Pavan Vaish stated that at Uber they are constantly evaluating how to raise the standards by integrating the feedback they receive from riders on how they would like to communicate with Uber.
“I am excited to announce that Sri Lankans will soon be able to use the Uber Safety Helpline at any time of the day or night, should they need urgent assistance during their trip. The additional level of security with features like Pin Verification and RideCheck reiterates our commitment to doing everything we can to help keep people safe.”
Uber says it continues to leverage technology to raise the bar and improve safety standards in the industry. (Colombo Gazette)