Ride-hailing service Uber plans to add a panic button to its mobile app that will alert the police if the rider feels threatened, an Uber regional manager has revealed. Uber’s Midwest Regional Manager Andrew MacDonald said the feature will roll out in the “next several months” and, “as it is perfected, it will become something that is more broadly used.” The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment about when the feature will launch, or whether it is the same as the “SOS” button launched in India last week.
The “SOS” button in Uber’s Indian market lets riders tap a button in the top right corner of the app to call local police in case of an emergency. The feature, along with a “share my status” function that lets riders share details about their driver and route with friends and family, comes in the wake of an Uber driver allegedly raping a passenger last year. Uber’s South Asia communications lead Karun Arya said in a blog post that all cities in India where Uber operates will pilot the feature, with similar safety features rolling out to other cities and countries “in the coming months.”