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Uber Introduces 'Panic Button' On Its App

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Uber Introduces 'Panic Button' On Its App

Uber has launched a new range of safety features via its app to help all of us feel safer whilst travelling on our journeys.

The new technology is designed to help us feel safer on our routes home by detecting unusual routes, prolonged stops or if a trip finishes in a different location to the destination specified. If this happens, the app will then ask both the driver and the passenger to confirm everything is ok.

Uber has introduced new safety measures to help drivers and passengers whilst travelling (Credit: Unsplash)
Uber has introduced new safety measures to help drivers and passengers whilst travelling (Credit: Unsplash)

Both drivers and passengers can let Uber know that they are fine, or they can take other actions including contacting the emergency services via an emergency button within the app. Uber will develop a specially trained safety team who can also follow up to check on both the rider's and passenger's wellbeing.

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The move comes after a year of increased concern about the welfare of women, following the high profile murders of both Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa as well as campaigns and protests for better safety for women. As a result of feeling unsafe, women in London have particularly criticised the difficulties in getting home safely at night when the tubes don't run and taxi costs spiral.

Uber is hopeful its new safety measures will give passengers peace of mind and help them to feel safer.

In a press statement detailing the features and updates, Uber said: "Our specialised safety team may also follow up with a phone call to see if everyone is safe."

Bex Xiao, head of community operations at Uber, said: "The safety of everyone who uses the Uber app is a top priority, which is why we have bolstered the safety features available on the Uber app.

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Sarah Everard's death touched the world (Credit: Handout)
Sarah Everard's death touched the world (Credit: Handout)

"We know that when it comes to safety, our work is never done, which is why we will keep listening, learning and innovating."

The updates come as Uber is set celebrate one billion rides in the UK since it launched in London on 29th June 2012.

Whilst many will choose to get a taxi home to make sure they end their ngith safely, it's not an option for everyone. Home Safe, a donation-based organisation that offers free vouchers to people who need help getting home, is now working with Uber to support safer travel.

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The taxi company will pay for 1,000 codes worth £10 for anyone who contacts Home Safe in need of support with their fare. The move will ensure more people return home safely, rather than risking walking late in the dark or waiting alone at bus stops.

The latest features allow passengers to contact the emergency services if strange routes or sudden stops are detected (Credit: Unsplash)
The latest features allow passengers to contact the emergency services if strange routes or sudden stops are detected (Credit: Unsplash)

Uber worked with YouGov to survey more than 2,000 women to find out more about how they feel when using the app to travel.

The research found that 72% of women felt safer when they could share details with their friends and family about their journey. A similar number also said they feel more safe when in a car that can be tracked via an app or service.

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The latest updates to the Uber app will include safety features such as audible seat belt alerts, improved RideCheck technology, and expanded audio recording. All features will be available for both the driver and passenger, to protect both parties.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: News, Travel

Niamh Spence
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