Uber is overhauling its four-year-old app security toolkit, including a brand new function for riders to contact safety firm ADT throughout rides. The corporate can also be increasing the supply of a function enabling clients to textual content 911.
The protection toolkit is a piece of Uber’s app via which clients can contact emergency companies, report a security problem to the corporate, or share their location with a member of the family or good friend. It was first rolled out in 2018 as a technique to handle the corporate’s abysmal file on security. Uber claims its rides are getting safer, and right this moment’s announcement is supposed to replicate these bettering situations.
“With so many security options, it’s time for an improve,” Rebecca Payne, the corporate’s lead security product supervisor, stated in a press release.
Uber says the overhaul is meant to make the toolkit simpler to entry inside the app. Tapping the shield-shaped icon will convey up 4 choices: contact 911, contact an ADT security agent, share journey standing, or report a security problem to the corporate.
Contacting an ADT security agent is among the latest options within the toolkit. Uber posits that some riders could discover themselves in a scenario that doesn’t qualify as a 911-level emergency however nonetheless could must be reported. In these cases, clients can name or textual content an ADT agent, who can keep involved at some point of the journey and even contact 911 on behalf of the rider. Payne says the power to achieve out to ADT is for “further peace of thoughts understanding that assist is out there proper within the app for any scenario.”
When clients do must contact 911 however want to take action discretely, Uber is increasing its text-911 operate to extra cities. The corporate says that 60 p.c of markets will now have the function, together with all of California and New York. Uber first added an in-app panic button in 2018 for riders and drivers to immediately contact 911. The text-911 function adopted in 2019, when it was first rolled out in Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Indiana.
Uber has been periodically making adjustments to its app round this problem for years. In 2020, the corporate pushed an replace to let riders discreetly report instances that will not rise to the extent of an emergency however nonetheless made them really feel unsafe whereas on a visit. The examples that Uber provides embrace “harsh braking,” “inappropriate remarks,” or a driver who isn’t being attentive to the street.
When a buyer tries to make use of the function, the Uber app will prepopulate the preliminary message with car particulars, location, and vacation spot info, so clients can rapidly talk that info to emergency dispatchers, the corporate says.
Uber claims that the overwhelming majority of its rides finish with out incident. Certainly the corporate’s most up-to-date security report, which covers 2019–2020, famous a 38 p.c drop in sexual assaults as in comparison with the previous report.