Uber has launched three new safety feature to its app in India, reports TechCrunch. The measures are already in place on the US version of the app but have taken time to come to their second nation.
The Ride Check feature checks on the driver and rider in the event of a long unplanned pause in the journey, with several options surfaced including a direct line to emergency services. Uber has also introduced a four-digit PIN system to ensure riders get into the correct vehicle. Uber said the ride cannot begin until the rider enters the PIN, though in reality the driver could still start driving.
TechCrunch points out that Uber’s Indian rival Ola has had this particular feature for several years.
A third feature where audio of rides can be recorded and sent to Uber will also launch soon. A trial of the feature is already underway in Brazil and Mexico, another two of Uber’s overseas territories along with India that struggles with their safety records. Ola also has a system for recording ride audio already in place, hence Uber’s move.
It is good news for Indian riders and driver alike, but it begs the question as to why these features are not global. Uber doesn’t really have an excuse, and tends only to act in territories where crime or violence is high in relation to their rides and not in other ‘safe’ nations.
Since Travis Kalanick’s unceremonious booting out of the company, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has gone some way to deflecting the awful public image Uber had. but he still helms these decisions. Along with the absence of global safety features, Uber is fighting tirelessly to not allow driver to be classed as employees.