On Tuesday, Uber introduced a new feature that aims to detect when something goes awry during a trip. Uber will now be keeping tabs on all US rides.
This new feature which is called RideCheck will send a push notification to drivers and riders if there’s a sudden long stop or possible crash. Riders and drivers will be able to respond to whether or not they need help.
Sachin Kansal, Uber’s head of safety products mentioned in a phone interview “We provide them, at their fingertips, a bunch of options to get help. Our goal really is to detect certain situations as they happen.”
Currently, Uber is providing over millions of rides every day but a small amount of those rides have reportedly ended in dangerous situations.
Hundreds of drivers and passengers have come forward over the past few years calming kidnapping, forcible groping, rape, and assault during rides.
Many lawsuits have been brought against the company by people claiming to have been sexually assaulted by drivers and several states, including Massachusetts, Texas, Colorado, and California, have launched investigations into Uber on the issue.
Uber has introduced many new safety features to its application over the past three years.
These new features include an emergency 911 button, anonymizing rider pickup, and drop-off locations and a way to make it easier for riders to share their trip information with friends and family.
At the beginning of this month, Lyft was sued by 14 women calming sexual assault by its drivers.
The suit additionally claims there were over 100 more reports of sexual assaults by Lyft drivers in California from May 2015 to May 2016. Last week Lyft announced that it was planning to add a new safety feature to its application which is called smart trip check-in. This new feature appears to function similarly to Uber’s RideCheck.
Last September, Uber introduced the RideCheck and has been piloting and refining the feature since then. This new feature was launched in Los Angeles at the end of 2018, then rolled out to other cities in the spring, including Houston, Dallas, and Detroit. This new feature is now available for all US rides and will expand to other countries in the coming months.
This new feature works by GPS system and will track each ride and then using that data and information from other sensors in drivers’ smartphones to detect if a trip goes off course. After Uber sends riders and drivers push notification, they will have the option of saying they’re OK or reporting an issue to the company’s safety line. Riders and drivers can also use the app’s emergency 911 button.