Uber adds more safety features for riders

Uber Expand Transport Services

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In a post today, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced a slew of new features for the app, created to address growing concerns over rider safety.

Riders will see a shield that they can touch, sending the app to another screen with safety tips, instructions on how to easily share ride information with others, and a button to call 911.

Uber plans to add several new safety features this summer. And I think that Silicon Valley is understanding that with building these platforms comes responsibility to make sure that those platforms are being used for good, and the old days are over and you have to take this responsibility seriously and you've got to invest behind it.

A new "911 Assistance" button in the app connects passengers to emergency services with one tap, according to Uber.

The 911 assistance tool lets riders use a single button to connect with an emergency operator and share their Global Positioning System location. We will investigate and verify any potentially disqualifying information from public records, such as a new and pending charge for a DUI, to ensure the driver is still eligible to use Uber. The project has been kick-started in the U.S. past year, and the company had extended this service to the United Kingdom last month.

"We've also announced that Jeh Johnson, who is a former secretary of Homeland Security, a pre-eminent safety expert, is going to be running, chairing our safety council, which will help us get better and better and better in this regard".

Past year the company was fined $8.9 million by the state of Colorado for allowing people with serious criminal or motor vehicle offenses to work as drivers. "We're excited to partner with Masabi to incorporate transit as an option in the Uber app". "Once we feel solid about the product market fit, we'll be expanding nationally", Uber mobility product head Jahan Khanna said.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hall said the new features won't change how frequently he uses Uber but he supports the change. It's unclear how drivers will react to what seems like just another attempt by Uber to squeeze more revenue out of them. They are even spending millions of dollars for the same.

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