Uber has launched new safety features including a panic button and ‘anomaly detection’ which identifies unusual routes.
The new technology will ascertain when an unexpected route is taken, if a trip finishes in a different location to the specified destination, or if a prolonged stop occurs in a journey. The tool will reach out to both the rider and driver through the app with a notification checking if everything is OK.
Both parties can inform Uber that they’re alright, and the trip can continue. A new Emergency Button will also allow the passenger or driver to contact local emergency services. A member of Uber’s specialist safety team may also follow up with a phone call to check on everyone’s welfare.
The features are an expansion of the RideCheck feature which launched in the U.S. in 2019, and has now been rolled out in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and other countries. RideCheck picks up on journeys with prolonged stops, prompting Uber’s safety toolkit to pop up, with Uber help and emergency numbers.
According to a YouGov poll commissioned by Uber, 72 percent of women in the UK feel safer when they’re using an app which lets them share their journey details with friends and family. 70 percent feel safer when they’re in a vehicle which allows its location to be tracked via an app.
Bex Xiao, head of community operations, Uber UK, said in a email statement to Mashable, “The safety of everyone who uses the Uber app is a top priority, which is why we have bolstered the safety features available.”
In addition to the new safety features, Uber has partnered with Home Safe, an organisation that provides free vouchers to Londoners requiring help getting home. Uber will provide 1,000 codes worth £10 for anyone who contacts the organisation.