While Uber has certainly proved a disruptive solution for the transport industry, it still has a lot of work to do when it comes to rider safety. To that end we’ve read countless cases where drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting, and making the service unsafe for women to use in particular.
Now Uber is seemingly aiming to do something about that, with the company revealing a new feature that it is testing out for rider safety. The feature comes in the form of being able to record audio snippets and sending them to Uber if you feel unsafe.
Making the discovery is Jane Manchun Wong, who has a strong history of discovering app features before they make their way to the general public.
Uber is testing "Record Audio" in case the rider is uncomfortable with the ride pic.twitter.com/btC5C0F3CN
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 30, 2019
As you can see from the embedded tweet above, it looks as if recorded audio clips will be handled within 24 hours, which is helpful, but in certain instances less than ideal.
As such making recordings available to emergency services or police may prove a better avenue than waiting for Uber to take care of it. It’s also unclear whether these clips will be reviewed by humans initially, or whether some sort of algorithm or machine learning will be employed in order to screen for the most important recordings.
The ridesharing service is yet to detail how long this feature will be tested out before being rolled out to the public, but is at least good to see Uber making efforts to safeguard its riders.
This especially as Uber has been involved in some disheartening news of late, where a report said the firm was actively leaving potential crimes undisclosed.
Hopefully then this new feature and others like it, will give users a bit more peace of mind. Perhaps though, a better screening process for drivers, who are often the main culprits in sexual assault cases, is also needed.