Cab hailing app Uber has unveiled a strategy to reinforce safeguards for passengers and their personal information.
The new feature is called Ride Check, and makes use of the sensors that already live inside the driver’s smartphone.
It’ll pull data from the GPS chip and accelerometer to work out if the car has suddenly stopped.
Once it thinks you’ve crashed, both the driver and passenger will receive a pop-up message on their phone. This pop-up message will ask if they’re okay, and whether they need any help.
If you respond to the pop-up saying that you’re not okay, it’ll initiate some kind of response.
The exact response isn’t confirmed yet, but Uber said this may involve linking you directly to emergency services, or a dedicated Uber safety line.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a statement on Thursday, said they have strengthened their background checks and introduced new screening technology. “We’ve taken steps to reduce the risk of drowsy driving. And we’re working to deter misconduct by making Uber a place where the lights are always on, adding new safety features,” he said.
Khosrowshahi said the features will be like an in-app emergency button and Trusted Contacts to allow multiple sets of eyes on each ride. “I’m proud of this progress, but we aren’t stopping there. Today, we’re raising the bar on safety by unveiling new features that will help protect all our customers and the information they entrust to us,” he said.
Khosrowshahi added that the technology will flag trip irregularities beyond crashes that might, in some rare cases, indicate an increased safety risk.
If there is a long, unexpected stop during a trip, both the rider and the driver will receive a Ride Check notification to ask if everything is okay.