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Uber will now let drivers and riders report audio throughout journeys for security

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Uber is releasing its audio-recording characteristic to a few US cities later this month, Uber mentioned in its press release.

Firstly of a visit, riders and drivers can allow this characteristic by clicking the defend icon within the app’s Security Toolkit and choosing “Document Audio.” Whereas each riders and drivers can report particular person journeys, drivers have the choice to depart the characteristic on whereas they’re actively looking for rides. The app will notify the rider if the motive force is utilizing the characteristic. Uber first launched audio recording in Latin America in 2019.

The transfer is the primary in-app characteristic that gives audio documentation of rides. Uber allows drivers to make use of their very own dashcams to report rides on their very own if native legal guidelines allow it.

As for audio file privateness, the file is encrypted and saved on rider and driver’s units, however nobody can hearken to the audio, even Uber. If both the rider or driver decides to submit a security report, they’ll connect the audio file, and a educated Uber security agent will decrypt and evaluation the recording.

Together with audio recording, Uber is releasing audible seat belt alerts quickly, in keeping with the press launch. The seat belt alert will come from the motive force’s cellphone, and the rider will obtain a push notification reminding them to placed on their seat belt. Uber mentioned that this characteristic can be out there within the US in early 2022.

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The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration — or NHTSA — reported that in 2020, the nationwide seat belt use price was 90.3 %. NHTSA additionally reported that of the 22,415 passenger car occupants killed in 2019, 47 % weren’t sporting seat belts. NHTSA mentioned they discovered no vital adjustments in seat belt use from 2019 to 2020.

Uber additionally introduced enhancements for its RideCheck feature, first launched in 2019 to detect accidents and weird lengthy stops. Now, RideCheck can now detect when Uber drivers take an surprising route or when a visit ends abruptly earlier than the ultimate vacation spot. If detected, riders and drivers will obtain a notification to verify the whole lot is secure.

Uber first published a safety report in 2019 information between 2017 and 2018 following elevated complaints from occupants relating to its security practices. Finally, these observations included the security of drivers who’ve additionally complained to the corporate about rider conduct.

Uber has been steadily releasing new security options in response to each riders and drivers experiencing unsafe circumstances throughout their journeys, together with allegations of sexual assault. In March, Uber, together with its competitor Lyft, announced that it would share details about drivers who had been deactivated for committing severe offenses.

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