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Uber introduces a bunch of new safety features


In a post today, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced a slew of new features for the app, designed to address growing concerns over rider safety. A majority of the additions are contained within a handy Safety Center landing page inside the app.

The section features a bunch of insight into the company’s process for screening its drivers, Uber’s on-going partnerships with law enforcement and the company’s insurance policies. There’s also a new Emergency button that connects riders directly to a 911 operator from inside the app.

That feature also displays real-time location from the moving car, including addresses, so riders can share that information directly with the emergency operator. Khosrowshahi says a version of the feature is also arriving for the driver side of things in the near future.

In Denver, Uber will also be testing a pilot partnership with emergency call startup RapidSOS capable of automatically sending location information to 911. Another partnership with National Emergency Number Association — though that one’s a bit more of a long term payoff, designed to help improve emergency call routing.

An update to the Share My Ride feature lets riders choice up to five contacts who will receive information on their trips, letting them arrive at their destination. They can also opt to only have the feature kick in during night-time rides.

Khosrowshahi also promises to beef up Uber’s screening process. “In the past, Uber conducted background check reruns in jurisdictions where required,” he writes. “Going forward, we’ll proactively rerun criminal and motor vehicle checks each year, regardless of whether there is a legal obligation to do so.”

The company is also utilizing a new system aimed at notifying the company when drivers in the system are involved in a criminal offense.



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