Uber has announced some updates to its safety toolkit. Among the new features is a way to get live help from an ADT security agent via phone call or text message in the US Agent can monitor a trip, stay in touch with the user for the entire duration and, if necessary, call 911 on your behalf. The agent can provide the authorities with the make and model of the vehicle, the license plate number and its GPS location.
On a similar note, Uber is expanding its text to 911 feature in more of the US The app can auto-complete a text with details about the vehicle and trip, including the destination and current location.
Uber introduced the feature in Los Angeles, Minnesota and Indiana in 2019. It will now be available in nearly 60 percent of the country, including New York City and all of California, as 911 call centers in those areas can receive messages. of text. Uber plans to expand the option to more regions where the technology is supported.
Additionally, Uber has revamped the Safety Toolkit menu. There are large icons that show all available urgent help options, such as an emergency button. “Our goal is to streamline access and visibility of our most critical security features because in an emergency, every second counts,” the company said. Uber introduced the Safety Toolkit in 2018. Other safety features include the option to verify a ride with a PIN code and share the status of a ride with friends and family.
Giving passengers and drivers more options for assistance is a welcome move, particularly given that Uber doesn’t exactly have an impeccable safety record. The company’s most recent safety report, which was published in June and covers 2019 and 2020, notes that 99.9 percent of trips ended without a reported security incident. However, 20 deaths were reported “in a total of 19 physical assault incidents in connection with Uber.”
There were also 3,824 reports of sexual assault, compared to nearly 6,000 in 2017 and 2018. The company says passengers were the accused party 43 percent of the time in sexual assault reports in 2019 and 2020. In July, more than 500 women sued Uber, claiming they were attacked by drivers.
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