With great power comes great responsibility
Uber, the world’s largest on-demand ride-sharing company, today announced the launch of “Safety Toolkit” – a consolidated and comprehensive set of features in-app for riders in India, within months of its US rollout.
Being an Uber user since its launch in India I can vouch for the efforts that the company makes to make each ride safer for its rider. Learning from user feedback and analytics, the company has added another feature to make our rides safer – Safety Toolkit.
Keeping technology at the heart of Uber’s approach, the safety toolkit is aimed at building on the existing safety features available to riders in India and improving both awareness and usage rates of some of the existing as well as newly introduced features. Riders can access the safety toolkit on the home screen of the app from the moment the driver accepts the trip through when the trip ends.
Commenting on the launch, Sachin Kansal, Director, Product Management, Uber said, “At Uber, safety is a top priority and we look towards harnessing technology to solve for rider and driver safety concerns in more innovative ways. The roll-out of Safety Toolkit to millions of riders across India is an extension of this commitment to the community that we serve. We’ve updated our platform to prioritize awareness and sensitisation and make our safety features more accessible and easier to use. A key feature that we are introducing today as part of the Safety Toolkit is ‘Trusted Contacts’, which offers riders the option to automatically share all or select late night trips with their family and loved ones”
Launched in the US in May, the Safety Toolkit’s design and features have been determined in large part, based on feedback from thousands of riders.
New features and investments
- Safety Center:
- Riders can find safety tips built in partnership with law enforcement and learn about our driver screening processes, insurance protections, and community guidelines.
- This puts key safety information and features for riders all in one place, which riders tell us is helpful.
- Trusted Contacts:
- Riders tell us that our Share Trip feature provides peace of mind, yet it is underutilized and suffers from lack of awareness or visibility.
- Our new feature allows riders to designate up to 5 loved ones with whom they can be regularly prompted to Share Trip.
- Riders can modify the settings to share all trips, night-time only trips, or none at all
- This makes it easier than ever to share your trip so loved ones can follow along and ensure you’ve arrived safely while ensuring rider’s privacy
- Emergency button: While an emergency button was pre-existing on Uber App in India, however, this new placement under the shield button in the safety toolkit umbrella will offer a quicker swipe feature for riders during an unwanted emergency.
For Uber, India was the first market where we launched the emergency button, which will now be a part of a larger Safety Toolkit in the app, where the rider has access to all possible protective and preventive measures under one roof.
These changes will build on the safety benefits that ridesharing already brings to cities, such as helping people avoid drunk driving, tracking every trip with GPS, interlinking with the safety apps of local police authorities were available and 24/7 feedback and response from our safety team.
Uber is maximizing the use of technology to bring transparency and accountability to strengthen the safety of riders on each trip. The company has introduced innovative features on its shared mobility platform like Real-time ID check, an emergency button, Share status option, two-way ratings of both riders and drivers and much more, in its bid to harness technology toward providing a safer commute option for its riders and drivers.
Over the last year, Uber has also inked strong partnerships with Government bodies including the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to jointly promote road safety, as well as Delhi and Kolkata Police, apps like SafetiPin to help pre-empt and prevent untoward incidents against riders.
So, what do you guys think of this swiss army knife of safety features – safety toolkit being added to the Uber app? Do let us know in the comments section below or tweet to us @theunbiasedblog.