Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Tech | By

Uber announces ramped up passenger security

Uber announces ramped up passenger security

Uber says it's an extension of the GPS system that tracks riders and drivers within the app - only now, it will be leveraged to detect possible crashes and anomalies such as unusually long waits.

Uber drivers will also have access to a new hands free feature and an emergency button to quickly get help.

Once Ride Check is initiated, riders and drivers are given access to Uber's Safety Toolkit.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a statement on Thursday, said they have strengthened their background checks and introduced new screening technology.

"We expect to expand this technology to additional scenarios in the future", he added. And in case of long stop without any reason during any trip, both the rider and the driver will receive a ride check notification displayed through the app to inquire about the situation.

"Going forward, after the trip ends, the driver app will only show the general area where a trip started and ended, not the address, " said Khosrowshahi who noted that the new features will be rolled out in the coming months.

Additionally, riders can now request trips using cross-streets instead of an exact street address.

This follows a slew of reports of drivers stalking or harassing passengers. It will also hide specific pickup and drop-off locations in driver trip histories. The app is also getting better in terms of security of riders. Users can opt-in to have two-step verification each time they log in, whether it's through texts (which can be intercepted in a targeted attack) or third-party authentication apps. It's unclear whether this rollout will include Australia, though Uber Australia has made no announcements regarding these features.

"There's no guarantee. You don't know what the market is doing", Khosrowshahi said Wednesday during an interview with FOX Business' Susan Li.

In a separate blog post, Uber said the best way to ensure you maintain a high rider rating is to not ask drivers to break the law to get you to your destination faster than the law allows, be courteous and don't mess up the auto with smelly food or by spilling drinks. But it's barely commendable - these are issues and features Uber should have been thinking about before it hit the market.

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