Our global safety team has a simple but critical mission: to set the bar high for ridesharing safety.
Over the past three years, we have introduced new safety features, including an in-app emergency button, and made investments in new processes and technologies to enhance safety standards on our platform. Today, we are launching RideCheck, a feature that detects trip irregularities; audio recording, which will be piloted in India later this year; and PIN verification, to help ensure riders are getting into the car they are matched with.
Since our first ride nearly a decade ago, GPS has been the backbone of the Uber experience. Every trip is on the map, so we know where and when you’re riding and who’s behind the wheel. By using this data and other sensors in drivers’ smartphones, our technology can detect long stops and possible crashes.
When a RideCheck is initiated, both a rider and driver will receive a notification asking if everything is OK. They can let us know through the app that all is well, or take other actions like using the emergency button or reporting the issue to Uber’s Safety Line. Our safety team may also follow up by phone to inquire about the RideCheck.
This technology will continue to evolve, and we are working to add additional scenarios to RideCheck.
For the past year, we’ve been piloting and refining RideCheck to ensure it works well for our customers and partners. Today, we are proud to announce that RideCheck is now available for all riders and drivers in India.
We understand that everyone has the right to ride and drive with confidence. That’s why our focus is on developing technologies and finding ways to make our rides safer.
We plan to pilot audio recording as a pioneering safety feature in India in 2020, available for riders and drivers. Once introduced, if you feel uncomfortable while on-trip, you can record audio of the trip within the app itself. You can start and stop the recording at any time through the Safety Toolkit. When the trip ends, you will be asked if everything is ok, and will have the option to report a safety incident and submit the audio recording. Just click the shield icon to access the audio recording option.
The encrypted audio file, which will be stored on your device, can be sent to Uber’s customer support agents who will use the audio to better understand an incident and take the appropriate action. If you choose to not report the incident immediately after the trip ends, you can visit your trip history and choose to report it later.
The audio files are encrypted and stored on the rider or
the driver’s device. The files cannot be listened to on the rider or driver’s device, and Uber can only decrypt and listen to the audio files after the rider chooses to submit the recording to Uber. This feature provides a seamless way to report a safety incident with an audio recording to Uber with a few clicks. This feature has been designed with to protect privacy and prevent misuse.
When we roll out the pilot, all riders and drivers will be given a notice that the feature is available and that they may be subject to audio recording.
The safety PIN is a trip verification feature to help ensure riders are getting into the car they are matched with through the app. Riders will receive a 4-digit PIN that they can provide verbally to their driver who can start the trip in the app only when the correct PIN is entered. In addition to the PIN, Uber announced its working on advanced technologies that will in the future use Ultrasound waves to automatically transmit the safety PIN for verifying rides. Riders can opt-in to the feature, and can choose to receive a PIN on every trip or just night time trips.
Helping keep millions of riders and drivers around the world safe is a huge responsibility with unique challenges. While we are proud of the progress we’ve made, when it comes to safety, we know our work is never done and that safety will remain an ongoing effort.