Uber Counts on Technology to Offer Safer Services 

Uber has rolled out some key features in India to ensure passenger safety in their cabs.

Tech News
2 min read
An Uber taxi driver shows the application software in his mobile phone. (Photo: Reuters)

Uber has faced a lot of flak in the recent past over the security of passengers in it’s cabs.

Despite being in trouble, the company is keeping a strong face among the Indian masses and have now rolled out some safety upgrades in a few cities with the help of technology.

Uber anyway claims to be a technology firm, rather than cab service provider.

Outside of the developed western countries, few have centralised criminal records databases and India is no different.

Obtaining clean background checks isn’t too difficult for the right sum of money shared with the right set of people.

Uber in India has introduced enhanced safety measures that go above and beyond industry standards and government requirements in India.

Speaking about the focus on technology to deal with the issue of safety an Uber spokesperson said, At Uber, safety is our priority. And that’s why we are investing in new technology so that we can help ensure people’s safety before, during and after the ride’.

So what has Uber done so far?

An SOS button to connect riders with the local police in the event of an emergency.

In case of an emergency, through the use of the SOS button riders can share their live GPS location and trip information like driver’s name, photo and license number, and details of the vehicle too.

They have also introduced a SOS Control room that is tied up with the local police in Pune and Kolkata, where the feature has been rolled out. This is integrated with the Help button with the local control room in the Police station, so they can get real time updates and all the information about the trip.

Uber has also deployed the disguised phone number technology in India. This ensures that all calls between riders and driver-partners are connected using anonymous phone numbers — so both sides can communicate with each other to coordinate a pick-up without revealing their personal phone numbers.

Uber’s disguised phone number technology. (Photo: Uber)
Uber’s disguised phone number technology. (Photo: Uber)

These new features have been rolled out in the last six months. This is in addition to the driver screening initiatives introduced earlier this year by Uber.

Uber has opted to have all their driver partners re-verified by the police across all cities, while also conducting independent background screenings.

The company says this is an important step in building an industry-first background check process for all driver-partners on the Uber platform in India.

Uber has also now established a dedicated local Incident Response Team that is on call 24/7 to handle critical situations.

We hope that these measures will make Uber’s services better and safer, and we hope that they are not too late to implement these in the country.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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