Uber rolls out safety features for drivers, passengers

Yolanda Curtis
September 7, 2018

The chief also added that the company was still on the edge of becoming a public company in 2019 and that the self-driving unit was positive to be a part of Uber during that phase. If there is a long, unexpected stop during a trip, for example, both the driver and rider will get a Ride Check notification asking if everything is alright.

The features, which follow others announced in April, use technology that only a company valued north of $70 billion might be able to build.

Khosrowshahi downplayed the remarks, and said that as soon as Chai (who he described as "rigorous" and "independent-minded") sees the work underway at Uber, he'd agree the company is ready for a 2019 IPO. The company says riders and drivers can call 911 directly through the app, and doing so will automatically send location, license plate and vehicle make and model information.

The button will appear on drivers' Android devices starting Wednesday and will roll out on IOS apps in a few weeks, said company officials.

The company has updated a feature on its app to help its passengers and drivers in case it detects an accident or unplanned stop. The company is also adding a "hands-free" feature which enables the drivers to accept the trips through voice commands.

Additionally, riders can now request trips using cross-streets instead of an exact street address. "Going forward, after the trip ends, the Driver app will only show the general area where a trip started and ended, not the address", Khosrowshahi wrote.

It's a proactive system created to minimize crash response time and address fears for rider safety on an app where there have been numerous reports of violence and sexual assault. Other driver safety features include an insurance hub in the driver app and an expansion of Uber's 911 integration pilot into additional cities. About two weeks after Khosrowshahi started, London's transport regulator made a decision to strip Uber of its license to operate, saying that the company may be endangering public safety and security. Uber also announced that it was extending the two-step verification process to give riders the option to use this feature every time they log into their account.

Other reports by iNewsToday