From hiding your number from drivers to speeding alerts, Uber’s latest #SpotlightOnSafety event in Dubai sees the ride-sharing giant introduces a whole host of new features designed to keep you safe.
At a special event in Dubai, Uber’s Global Head of Safety Product Sachin Kansal announced some pretty cool new safety updates about to hit Egypt. Dubbed the ‘Safety Toolkit’, the new features are designed with both riders and drivers in mind.
First of all, you’ll soon notice a shield icon appearing on your in-ride screen whenever you get into an Uber. “We put it front and centre so you can’t miss it,” says Kansal about the new function. Both drivers and riders will see this symbol, and by tapping it, not only will they receive general safety advice, but will be able to contact the right authorities in the case of an emergency, at the touch of a button.
As a rider, you’ll also be able to add up to five trusted contacts to your app and as soon as you get into an Uber, you’ll be asked if you want to share your ride with any of them – perfect when you’re going home late, and Mama is up all night fretting about your safe arrival. Ever-inclusive, Uber is rolling out this function to drivers too.
One of the new feature’s we can’t wait for is Caller Privacy – which means your phone number will never be visible or accessible to a driver, and vice versa. Dedicated to preserving your privacy, the update means that when you call a drive to explain exactly where you are, or if the driver calls you for any reason, you’ll both see a random number on your phones, instead of revealing your actual number. Rolling out across the Middle East, this announcement got a deserved round of applause at the launch event. “Our responsibility is to provide a great, safe experience for both riders and drivers,” says Kansal.
On the drivers’ side, Uber is also introducing speed alerts to tell them when they’re going over the limit, and the data will be sent back to HQ. If this is a persistent problem for any driver, they’ll assess his or her driving history and provide retraining to make sure they meet standards.
Another great update for drivers that also helps keep riders safe is that the app will force drivers to take a minimum of six hours break for every 12 hours they drive, making sure they’re fit, alert and not overworked. If a driver reaches 12 consecutive hours of driving on any given day, their ability to accept more riders will be frozen until they’ve gotten some much-needed rest. We’ve all heard horror stories of drivers falling asleep at the wheel, and this new feature hopes to eliminate that sombre possibility.
“Over the last year we’ve been working to develop innovative products that increase transparency, accountability and peace of mind for all users. The rollout of our new Safety Toolkit features across Europe, Middle East and Africa is the next step in making sure that we’re helping everyone stay safe and connected, wherever you might be,” says Kansal.
These new features will be available on your Uber app in Egypt over the next few weeks.