Uber has started rolling out an update to its app in India with new safety features for riders. The features, which have been rolled out in the US in May, will be customised for the Indian market. The new features include a Safety Centre, which can be accessed from any screen on the app. The Safety Centre will let you see what Uber is doing to keep its trips safe and also suggest tips on what the rider can do.
Riders will now be able to select trusted contacts with whom trips will be shared so that your loved ones will know where you are. Sachin Kansal, Director of Product Management, Uber, said they had noticed that most of the rides were shared with the same contacts and hence the option to share will now come as a prompt as soon as the trip is being initiated.
“The trusted contacts will be able to see the pick up spot, the destination as well as the driver details,” he said, adding that the riders will never be off the grid.
The other feature is a one-touch Call 100 option on the app in case the riders want to reach out to the police. In India, the police will be informed based on the location of the mobile tower of the rider. There will be also an option to seek additional support from Uber 24/7.
“We don’t want to come in between the police and the rider. We will facilitate the conversation,” Kansal said, adding that they do send the location and car details with the police. Uber will also call back the rider within a few minutes, but without interfering with the conversation that might be happening with the police.
Kansal said the features are now live in some cities and within some time all cities will be covered. Uber has also partnered with local efforts like Himmat in Delhi and Bondhu in Kolkata to improve safety for riders.