Uber Has Unveiled a Heap of New Safety Functions to Help You Stay Safe During a Trip

Including a 'panic button' that connects you directly to 000 and the ability to easily share your location with friends and fam.
Libby Curran
Published on September 26, 2018

If you've ever felt unsafe in an Uber, because of a predatory driver, other riders or something going on outside the car, this new in-app feature might help ease your mind — a 'panic button' that lets riders contact emergency services directly through the Uber app.

It's part of a new Safety Toolkit, trialled in the USA earlier this year and currently being rolling out in Aus, which is designed to help both riders and drivers stay protected and connected during a trip.

According to the Uber website, you'll soon be able to access the new Safety Toolkit by clicking on a small shield icon located at the bottom right of the map. It'll allow you to connect instantly to 000 — with the app showing your location and address in real time, so you can pass it on to an operator if required. Drivers will be able to access the same emergency assistance feature on the left side of their own driver app.

Another new function allows both riders and drivers to keep their loved ones in the loop, by adding up to five people as 'Trusted Contacts' — you can then arrange to share your whereabouts and trip status with them at any time, with just a subtle tap of a button.

The Safety Toolkit also features a new SafetyCentre — a sort of hub, where you can learn all about insurance details, driver background checks and information of how to access Uber's 24/7 support.

The launch of the new Safety Toolkit follows two alleged sexual assaults on female Sydney Uber passengers in recent weeks and an investigation by CNN into the prevalence of sexual assaults by Uber drivers in the US. After CNN released its report, Uber published a statement saying it had committed to making trips safer by rolling out new technology and screening drivers more thoroughly (and frequently).

The new Safety Toolkit is expected to appear in Aussie apps over the upcoming weeks.

Published on September 26, 2018 by Libby Curran
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