Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday said it will launch an optional test of recordings in three US cities to enhance safety, allowing drivers and riders to submit trip recordings to Uber in the event of an emergency. there is a safety incident.
Uber at the end of 2019 revealed that it had received 6,000 reports of sexual assault and 107 road deaths related to 2.3 billion US trips in 2017 and 2018. The recording feature is intended to provide gives drivers and riders extra security if they feel uncomfortable and allows Uber users to speak.
The recording feature was launched in Latin America two years ago and is available in 14 countries in the region, but will launch in the United States for the first time.
Launching in Kansas City, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, later this month, drivers and riders will be able to choose to record each ride through the Uber app.
Uber says riders are alerted to the possibility of a ride recording via an in-app banner and can cancel if they’re uncomfortable.
Uber’s vice president of product management, Sachin Kansal, said the company has applied lessons learned in Latin America to ensure privacy, transparency and convenience.
Encrypted recordings are stored in the Uber app and cannot be played by users, Kansal said. If a safety incident occurs, users who submit a safety report can send the recording to a qualified Uber employee, who can decode it, Kansal said.
“We hope that people will be very accepting of this feature,” Kansal said. “As we learn from those cities and get feedback, we can expand it further.”
Uttara Sivaram, Uber’s senior manager of public policy, said the company will initially focus the recording feature on US jurisdictions with one-party consent laws.
A spokesman on Wednesday said the company is awaiting full-year traffic death data from US regulators to finalize safety reports for 2019 and 2020.