The much maligned minicab app Uber are launching several new ‘safety’ features including a panic button and options to be tracked by several family members.
The firms Chief Legal Officer, Tony West, announced that Uber will show their commitment to safety, after coming under severe global scrutiny, by launching several new initiatives in America. If successful the features are expected to pushed out worldwide. Mr West said: "We're rolling out a new emergency button in the app that can automatically communicate the car's location to a 911 centre. "We've added a feature that allows riders to share live trip information with up to five trusted contacts, so there are multiple sets of eyes on each ride." Many sceptics of the controversial firm are suggesting Uber are simply reinventing the wheel as most mobiles are already capable of contacting the emergency services simply by dialling 999 even when a phone is locked and has no calling credit.
There are also questions surrounding how these features will help heavily intoxicated users.
Only last week London Uber driver Muhammad Khurram Durrani was found guilty of one count of rape. Mr Durrani received a twelve year sentence for raping a heavily intoxicated girl in the back of his vehicle.
Tony West went on to add “Dara (Khosrowshahi) recently said that sexual predators often look for a dark corner. Our message to the world is that we need to turn the lights on. It starts with improving our product and policies, but it requires so much more, and we’re in it for the long haul. Together, we can make meaningful progress towards ending sexual violence. Our commitment to you is that when we say we stand for safety, we mean it.”