Uber is today announcing the launch of Uber for teens which will gradually be available from today onwards, allowing Aussie teens to ride on their own with their parent’s oversight. As part of Uber’s commitment to supporting busy Australian families, Uber for teens will give parents added flexibility on the go, without compromising on safety and with parental controls. 

Following a successful launch across Canada, the United States and Latin America, Uber is bringing their teen ride product to Australian shores, with an initial launch across the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia, offering busy parents the choice to allow their teens to ride on their own. To access this service, parents and guardians can invite their teens (aged 13-17) to create a specialised Uber account under their family profile, allowing teens to request their own rides under real-time parental supervision. 

Only highly rated driver-partners who have completed hundreds of trips will be eligible to give rides to teens. In addition to the background checks that every driver-partners must have, driver-partners must also hold a valid Working with Children Check or Working with Vulnerable Person Registration (depending on the state),  keeping safety at the forefront of every trip completed. 

Uber for teens was developed in response to common challenges faced by modern families everywhere, as working parents look for safe, easy and convenient ways to transport their growing families. According to new research commissioned by Uber, 58% of parents admit that their work schedule often prevents them from driving their teens to their activities, with 1 in 5 even having to ask their teens to miss out on an activity due to transportation barriers. Although parents can be real-life superheroes, many are feeling the weight of the high expectations often placed on them, with an alarming 60% of parents saying they feel pressured to be available to drive their teens to avoid them missing out.

In line with Uber’s commitment to innovation and ongoing investment in platform safety, Uber for teens was designed with children’s safety at its core. Teen accounts are built with transparency that empowers busy parents to access more flexible transportation options for their family, without sacrificing oversight of their children’s whereabouts and wellbeing. 

Teen riders and their parents are given access to a wide range of built-in safety features that cannot be turned off by the teen rider, their parent or guardian, or the driver-partner, ensuring a consistently safe and secure ride every time. 

Uber for teen’s key safety features

  • Screened and experienced drivers: Only experienced, highly-rated drivers with consistently positive feedback and a valid Working with Children Check or Working with Vulnerable Person Registration (depending on the state) will be eligible to complete trips with teens. Every driver-partner has the ability to opt-out.
  • Live trip tracking: Parents/guardians will be automatically notified when their teen requests a trip to reassure them about where their teen is going and who is behind the wheel. They will also be able to monitor the trip via GPS tracking in real-time, so they can follow along their child’s trip from start to finish.
  • PIN Verification: A 4-digit PIN Verification will be required for every teen’s trip, providing an extra layer of protection to ensure they’re getting into the right vehicle with the right driver-partner. 
  • driver-partner reports an incident to Uber and chooses to attach the audio file to the report.
  • Expanded communication: During the trip, parents/guardians can call the driver-partner at any time and contact Uber support. 
  • RideCheck: Sensors and GPS data are used to detect if the ride goes off course, stops unexpectedly, or ends early. If something like this happens, the Uber app will message the teen and the driver-partner to make sure they’re okay, parents will also receive a notification. RideCheck will be adjusted to be more sensitive during teen trips.
  • Audio recording: Once the teen has registered for audio recording through the safety toolkit, audio recording will be automatically enabled for the entire teen trip while keeping privacy protected. To ensure both privacy and safety are protected, the recording will be encrypted and stored on the user’s device, and can only be accessed by Uber’s support team if the teen rider or 

With Uber for teen’s suite of safety features, parents have visibility over their child’s entire trip, so that their teens can start to take small steps towards independence without transportation barriers getting in the way of them being where they need to be and doing what they love. 

Emma Foley, Director of Mobility Operations at Uber ANZ, said: “We’re excited to be introducing young riders to our rideshare services, giving them more independence to make the most out of their favourite activities and avoid missing out on what they enjoy the most.” 

Many of us at Uber are busy parents ourselves so we know all too well how hard it can be to juggle competing priorities. We are pleased to be providing Australian families with a solution that has been tried, tested and trusted by many other families around the world, helping alleviate these common pain points with an alternative transport option built with safety in mind.

In addition to the safety features, teen riders are also required to complete an in-app safety onboarding process and agree to applicable terms and conditions, which incorporate Uber’s Community Guidelines before requesting their first ride, equipping them with useful information and tips to help them stay safe throughout their journey. Driver-partners will also be equipped with useful resources and education modules on how to provide safe transportation for teens.

We encourage parents and their teens to take this opportunity to have an open conversation about safety, leaning on available resources, such as those housed on the Uber for teens website, to educate and make sure their teen is well-informed and ready to travel on their own.”, says Foley. 

Teen accounts took over a year of meticulous development before launch, which included the consultation of US-based non-government organisation Safe Kids Worldwide. Uber partnered with the nonprofit injury-prevention organisation to draw on their expertise and address any safety concerns that arose during the development of this new feature. Local resources were also considered ahead of the launch and made widely accessible via the Uber for teens website. Ahead of launch, Uber had curated resources from the Australian government-funded parenting website, Raising Children, to support parents and their teens with communications around safety and readiness to travel independently. 

How Uber for teens works

Parents can follow these 3 simple steps to get their teen’s account set up:

  1. Tap Account > Family to create a Family profile. 
  2. Tap Invite Family > Teen > Choose contact and select their name from your contacts. (They must be at least 13 years old.)
  3. Make sure your payment information is up to date before your teen requests their first ride. You can also set a transportation budget for your teen. 

Teens can follow the below steps to set up their account:

  1. Once the above steps are completed by the parent or guardian, the teen will receive an invitation to download the Uber app
  2. Once the teen finishes the setup process, including their safety onboarding, they can begin using their teen account to request their own rides

About the research

The research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 1041 Australians (who have at least one child aged 11-17) who own a car and currently transport their (pre) teen. The data was collected between 06.03.2024 and 26.03.2024. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR principles. Censuswide is also a member of the British Polling Council.