Seat Belt Alerts, RideCheck Improvements: Uber Unveils New Features To Keep Drivers And Drivers Safe
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Uber passengers can rest assured that the company is doing even more to keep passengers and their drivers safe.
This week, the rideshare company announced a slew of new safety features coming to the platform, including seat belt alerts, improvements to Uber’s RideCheck system, and the ability to record audio. during the journey to document an unexpected problem.
“Whether you ride, drive or deliver, we’re developing new tools and technologies to promote respectful interactions, empower everyone who uses Uber, and help keep everyone safe,” said Sachin Kansal, vice president of product management at Uber. ‘Uber.
SEAT BELT ALERTS
Although wearing a seat belt has repeatedly been shown to be one of the best ways for vehicle occupants to protect themselves in the event of an accident, studies have shown that nearly 30% of American adults do not. not always buckle up when in the backseat.
Of those who don’t always choose to buckle up in the backseat, 80% said carpooling trips, like Uber, are the most common times they avoid their seatbelt.
To help address this issue, Uber will roll out a new seat belt alert system that will remind passengers to buckle up.
At the start of each trip, an audio alert will play on the driver’s phone, while passengers will receive a push notification on their own phone reminding them to wear their seat belts at all times.
“We believe this new feature, which will be available nationwide early next year, will increase seat belt usage and help drivers ensure a safe environment while traveling,” said Kansal said.
As of November 1, 2020, all vehicle occupants in New York are required to wear seat belts at all times, regardless of age or seat location.
Previously, adult passengers in New York City were only required to wear a seat belt when seated in the front seat of a vehicle. However, this requirement has now been extended to the back seat, regardless of the age of the passenger.
Uber also announced improvements to the company’s RideCheck feature, which first launched in 2019.
The tool issues notifications asking passengers and drivers if they need help when a trip appears to have unexpected delays.
The company has now expanded the tool’s capabilities, allowing it to detect if a driver has taken an unexpected route or if a trip suddenly ends before a driver reaches the desired destination.
If such a problem is detected, a RideCheck notification will be sent to both the driver and the driver to make sure there is no problem.
“They can let us know through the app that everything is fine, or take other action like using the emergency button or reporting the issue to Uber’s security incident reporting line,” Kansal said.
While the company strives to minimize situations in which a rider or driver feels uncomfortable, or worse, threatened, these scenarios do occasionally arise.
If something like this happens, Uber has added a new audio recording feature to the app that allows passengers and drivers to document the situation and submit it as evidence in a filed safety report.
Users will need to enable the feature in their app, at which point they can tap the blue shield icon on the map screen and select “Record Audio”.
If a driver has chosen to record audio on a given trip, they will receive a notification warning them of the recording in progress.
To ensure privacy, all audio recordings will be encrypted and stored exclusively on the driver’s or driver’s phone, unless they decide to submit the audio to Uber as part of a safety report. Once submitted, the audio will be decrypted and reviewed by Uber to assess the situation.
Uber is expected to start testing the new feature in select U.S. cities later this month, before rolling it out across the country.
“Our safety report shows that the vast majority of trips on the Uber platform do not result in a safety report, but in the rare event that things go wrong, we want to make more safety resources available to users. “Kansal said.