In a Press Release announcement made this week, Uber announced 3 new features that riders and drivers can utilize within the Uber app. Each feature is designed to enhance the safety and comfort of the Uber service.
The first feature is Audible Seat Belt Alerts, a proactive, audio alert that reminds riders to buckle up at the start of a trip! The audio alert will sound from the driver’s phone and will simultaneously be accompanied by a push notification to the rider’s phone. Uber expects this feature to be available through the United States in early 2022.
The next upgrade that Uber announced is RideCheck Enhancements. RideCheck was first introduced in 2019. Through GPS data and sensors in the driver’s smartphone, Uber is able to detect possible crashes or unusually long stops during a trip. The newest enhancement will allow Uber to notice when a trip takes an unexpected route or ends unexpectedly before a rider’s final destination. When Uber notices these deviations, RideCheck will send a notification to both the rider and driver, asking if everything is ok. Both parties will be able to respond that all is well or choose to utilize another action within the app such as utilizing Uber’s emergency button.
The third and final new feature that was announced is the ability to Audio Record during Uber rides. After testing Audio Recording in Latin America for the past two years, Uber has decided to expanded this service and begin piloting it in three US cities. The goal of Audio Recording is to better support riders and drivers who report safety incidents to Uber. According to Uber, “once riders and drivers enable this feature, they can choose to record audio by tapping the shield icon on the map screen and selecting “Record Audio.” Riders and drivers can choose to record individual trips, and drivers will also have the option to leave the feature on while they’re online. Before the trip, we’ll let the rider know in their app if a driver has opted into the feature. To help protect privacy, the audio file is encrypted and stored on the rider and driver’s devices—and by default no one can listen to the audio, including Uber. If either user submits a safety report to Uber, they can attach the audio file to their report. At that point, a trained Uber safety agent will decrypt and review the submitted audio recording, as well as any other relevant information, to help determine what happened and the best course of action.” In other words, it is the riders/drivers choice to record audio and decide when to share it with Uber.
Will you be utilizing these new Uber features?