Riders and drivers in Ottawa, Barrie and Winnipeg now have a new safety feature in the Uber app making it easier for local police to find you in an emergency. 

Real-time location, vehicle make and model, and license plate number will now automatically be shared with first responders through 911 integration in partnership with the RapidSOS Emergency Response Data Platform during an emergency. 

Safety is at the heart of the Uber platform, which is why we are constantly looking at ways to leverage technology to make the platform safer for riders and drivers,” said Michael van Hemmen, General Manager of Uber Mobility in Canada. “In an emergency, every second matters. We are excited to bring 911 integration to riders in partnership with local law enforcement and we hope to bring it to every city in Canada.”

Currently, if a rider uses Uber’s emergency button during a trip, their real-time location, car make and model, and license plate number are surfaced on theappso the rider can communicate that information to the 911 telecommunicator. With 911 integration through the RapidSOS emergency response data platform in Ottawa, that information is automatically transmitted to 911 along with the rider’s contact information and does not need to be conveyed verbally. The telecommunicator will see that information on the RapidSOS Portal on their computer and then share it immediately with police and first responders. If the vehicle is moving, the location will be updated in real-time to plot the direction of movement, and if/when the vehicle crosses 911 jurisdiction lines, this information can be handed off for seamless response. 

We believe data can have a big impact on emergency response, helping 911 telecommunicators deploy resources faster and field responders to arrive on scene better informed,” explained Michael Martin, RapidSOS’ founder and CEO. “With data from the Uber app available automatically to 911, those experiencing an emergency can rest assured that their life-saving information can be made available to 911 in the moments when it matters most.”

In Canada, Uber piloted the emergency button starting in summer 2022 in Ottawa. Before that, Uber launched the emergency button feature in May 2018 in the US. Since then, the company has partnered with RapidSOS to launch 911 integration technology with local emergency authorities in 1800+ cities in the US, as well as international markets, including Latin America and South Africa. 

The RapidSOS platform powers 5,300+ Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) across North America, covering 95% of the North American population. RapidSOS is also available at several communication centers throughout Canada. Currently, this life-saving technology is leveraged in provinces nationwide. In addition, it is integrated with over 400 million connected devices and apps. These devices and apps, recognized as RapidSOS Ready, can transmit real-time location, vehicle telematics, health and medical information, connected building and alarm data, and more to 911 in an emergency. This data enables faster and smarter emergency response and ultimately helps save lives. In 2021, RapidSOS provided life-saving data for over 165 million emergencies, helping first responders save countless thousands of lives.