If you've ever been in a shady Uber ride and found yourself wishing you had a quick way to safety, the company now has you covered. Uber is adding a direct way to call 911 straight from its app in an upcoming safety overhaul. The new emergency button will be placed in a new "safety center" housed on the home screen. If you end up in a ride that goes awry, you need only press a button to be connected to emergency services. If you've ever ridden an Uber or Lyft before, you probably know about just how shady some of the drivers can seem. Now you have a little more peace of mind when it comes to your safety as a passenger.
The new section of the app will have more than just a button to dial 911. It'll also include insurance information, details about the driver screening process, and other safety-related tidbits to help you feel better about your trip. You can also set up five friends to share your location with as soon as you step into every Uber ride, which should help ensure that the first Uber you hop into during a vacation or your commute home doesn't have to be your last.
Uber will be spending $350,000 to help improve the communications between the various 911 centers located throughout the country, and will also help work with local emergency centers beginning with those in Denver. Given that when a rider presses the emergency button, their details are sent to the dispatcher, this is an important process to get right. Mobile phones are always the most accurate way to pinpoint a location, but at least this is a healthy start for a company whose privacy and safety practices haven't always been up to snuff.
If you're going to hop into an Uber any time soon, make sure you make use of these upcoming safety mechanics so you can feel just a bit better about jumping in a stranger's car. Still weird that we do that, isn't it?
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Uber Now Lets You Dial 911 Directly From The App