Uber adding new safety features to its app

Photo: Flickr photo stream

Uber released their 2017-2018 U.S. Safety Report earlier this week, revealing 5,981 reports of sexual assault. With 464 of those reports being of rape, Uber is adding new safety features to ensure the safety of their users.

Banned Uber driver information will now be shared with other ride sharing companies such as Lyft, there will be a new verify your ride feature where you will use a pin to verify your rides among arrival, and in trip reporting where passengers or drivers can report non emergency issues during the ride.

“99.9% of our rides start and finish without any type of incident.” Said CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi in a sit down with The Washington Post ¬†following the release of the report.

Additional safety features include having the ability to share your ride with family and friends so that they can know where you are at all times during the ride, a call 911 feature, and request Uber to follow your ride. The passengers and drivers can both use these new safety features.

“Its scary to find out about these statistics. My mom Ubers to work every morning. I tell her to always be careful because you never know what can happen. Now that Uber released this report, I will show it to her and tell her to be even more careful.” Said Julienne Almonte, a student at Cal State Fullerton

“I personally am not too worried about continuing to use Uber, but I have a mom and sister who I will definitely inform about this and tell them to be careful. I think it might even be a good idea for women under the age of 18 to start using the buddy system when using the ride share app,” said Edrees Shalemi, another student at Cal State Fullerton.

Since the release of the Uber report earlier this week, there have been 19 women who filed lawsuits against Lyft for their lack of efforts to protect passengers despite being aware of previous assaults.

In the college scene, there is a lot of Ubering and Lyfting during late hours of the night and often times users of these ride share services are intoxicated, impairing their decision making and their motor skills.

I caught up with a former student at USC, Jessica Wilson to see what she thought of Ubering alone moving forward.

“As a woman who has used this app countless times when I am by myself I am shocked at what I am hearing. Finding out this information that happened during 2017-2018 makes me feel lucky to be alive. As a user of the app for many years, I trust the drivers and the company who hires them would be concerned about my safety as the first priority. I have always thought of the possibility of a driver doing something to me when I am riding alone, but often sweep that thought under the rug thinking to myself that ‘I’ll be fine.’ As a mother to of two, I won’t be using this app by myself anymore due to concerns for my safety and my childrens safety.” Said Wilson after she was informed about the Uber report.

The safety features will be added to the app sometime next year.