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Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) Continues Rideshare Safety Enhancements with New RideCheck Feature

  • Uber Technologies has built a global ride-sharing empire thanks to a successful model of sustaining peer-to-peer transportation business operations
  • Criminal incidents that have played on the vulnerabilities of ride-share drivers and passengers have led to a series of recent security enhancements available to Uber users through the company’s mobile app
  • The new RideCheck feature uses the phone’s geolocation capabilities in combination with the platform’s AI-driven protocols to monitor potential concerns and respond by contacting both the driver and the passenger
  • The RideCheck feature was tested in U.S. cities including Los Angeles and Dallas and is expected to roll out soon to the international market, where Uber delivers services in more than 60 countries

As media reports have highlighted some dangers experienced by both drivers and passengers using rideshare services during recent years, multinational peer transportation company Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) has developed a series of enhanced security features designed to help protect the people using its amenities.

After a University of South Carolina college student was kidnapped and murdered earlier this year when she got into a car she mistakenly believed to be her Uber ride, the well-known rideshare company launched its Campus Safety Initiative to help students learn how to avoid fake rideshare drivers (http://nnw.fm/biKq6). The program features specified places for picking up rides on college campuses and a ‘Check Your Ride’ phone app notification element that reminds riders to verify the details of the vehicle they are anticipating.

In September, Uber announced a new safety feature for its app that offers greater assistance to passengers and drivers using the ride-hailing service. The new RideCheck feature uses the location sensors in smartphones to detect the movements of Uber’s vehicles (http://nnw.fm/83LcO). The system uses artificial intelligence enhancements to determine if a car is doing anything unexpected along its route, such as stopping at a premature location or veering off on an untrusted course.

In the event of a triggering event, the system will send an alert to both the driver and the passenger to ask if there’s a problem. The individuals can then tap on the alert to indicate if assistance is needed or to state that, “I’m fine.”

Uber’s safety team may be alerted to follow up with a phone call as well, depending on the circumstances.

“Helping keep millions of riders and drivers around the world safe is a huge responsibility with unique challenges,” Head of Safety Products Sachin Kansal stated in a blog post about the feature (http://nnw.fm/VRhh9). “While I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, when it comes to safety, we know our work is never done.”

Other safety elements introduced by the company include the addition of an in-app panic button for contacting 911, a listing of trusted people the company can contact on behalf of the Uber user and the centralization of safety features within the app.

The RideCheck feature was tested in major U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Dallas, and it will soon be available in other countries as well. In April, Uber’s officers reported that the company was operating in 63 countries on six continents, providing more than 14 million trips per day in more than 700 cities (http://nnw.fm/8V4o5). The report stated that Uber’s near-term expansion plans were focused on increasing ridesharing services in Argentina, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Spain.

“Every day, our technology puts millions of people together in cars in cities around the world,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated last year in a blog post (http://nnw.fm/RNbz0). “Helping keep people safe is a huge responsibility, and one we do not take lightly.”

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Uber.com

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