Uber is finally buckling down and getting serious about safety in India after public outrage, and even a ban on the service in Delhi after a woman alleged that she was raped by a driver toward the end of 2014. As Uber unleashes a suite of safety features its calling “Safety Net” it will start with, and be focused on the addition of a panic button that will be place in app. While many thought that the panic buttons would be added to the cars themselves, or otherwise be an apparatus that could be added to a vehicle – the company is instead adding that button to the app itself. In some ways that’s been viewed as a positive move, but for some – like those who think that this solution will only fix the problem on a limited basis – others are satisfied. The addition of a panic button within the app will give the user the ability to hit it in an emergency, and then have the authorities alerted of the rider’s location, trip, and who is driving them.
Beginning on February 11th this feature will go live, along with several other features surrounding the entire safety conversation. Most-notably, the addition of the ability to share details of a trip with up to five people. Whether they’re family members, or whether they’re friends – the app will allow the information from the trip to be shared throughout – giving Uber the appearance of transparency and caution when it comes to the safety of their riders. The button will be called an “SOS” button according to the company blog, and even went on in the blog post to point out that “Our goal is to make Uber the safest place in the city. To do this, we will continue to leverage our technology and operational scale to deliver rides that bring unprecedented transparency and accountability to your transportation experience.”
This is something that could be seen more widely throughout the regions where Uber serves, as safety and other concerns continue to make riders question Uber’s ability to keep them safe when they’re using the service. When it comes to safety though, a real focus, like they appear to have now – is crucial to moving forward out of this tumultuous time.