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Uber’s new safety features a game-changer for women

Uber's new safety features a game-changer for women
Uber's new safety features a game-changer for women

In a world where, according to a Gallup report, 53% of women feel unsafe walking alone at night even if it is within a mile of their home, Uber is taking a stand to make the world safer for everyone. 

The ride-sharing company recently introduced new safety preferences to prioritize riders’ safety when using the app – particularly women. 

Uber explains: “We’re dedicated to building a platform where women feel safe. That’s why we partner with and learn from women who use our app, women’s safety experts, and advocates to build innovative safety features and policies.”

Uber’s new safety features

Uber’s new one-stop destination feature allows riders to customize their safety preferences “and have peace of mind that it’s handled.” The app lets you choose which features will turn on automatically, based on time or location. 

Think late-night trips. Let’s say you work late regularly. The feature can be set to turn on if you leave the office after 9 pm. You can also set it to activate whenever you leave a restaurant or a bar. 

The schedule options include: 

  • All rides: On during every ride.
  • Some rides: Choose ride types.
  • No rides: Only turn on manually.

The ride types are: 

  • Late-night rides: (Between 9 pm and 5 am). 
  • Bar & restaurant rides: Within 40 meters.
  • Weekend rides: Friday to Sunday.

WATCH: New safety features:

Safety tools for every journey

The app also has four existing safety features: RideCheck, PIN verification, Audio Recording, and Share My Trip. 

With RideCheck, the app will monitor for any anomalies during the trip, such as the vehicle going off course or stopping unexpectedly. It will also send an in-app check-in if the trip ends sooner than estimated. 

To ensure you get into the right vehicle, PIN verification is needed for a driver to start a trip. Additionally, the Audio Recording can be used when you report a safety incident. However, audio recordings are encrypted and neither you nor the driver has immediate access to it. 

The Share My Trip lets you share the live location and trip details with a friend or family member, in real time. 

Uber’s commitment to safety

Emilie Boman, director of global public policy for safety at Uber says, “We’re hoping that these features give them peace of mind so they don’t have to think about it in the moment. It allows riders to set and forget.”

When asked if the new features were built with women in mind, Boman says “all riders” requested enhanced features, “but it’s also something we heard specifically from women riders, they really wanted this type of optionality, in app.”

Uber’s most recent safety data report (compiled in 2022) includes 3,824 incidents of sexual assault and misconduct. The rate of sexual assault cases reported during this period decreased by 38% when compared to Uber’s first safety report (2017-2018). 

As per the report, “99.9% of trips on the Uber platform ended without a safety incident. Only 0.0002% of trips involved a critical safety event.” That said, Uber maintains that “even one report is one report too many.” 

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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