Uber’s new safety feature connects you instantly with local police

Uber riders in all 22 Indian cities that Uber operates in will have access to an enhanced safety feature. The app-based taxi hailing service has added a new Help button that connects riders instantly to local authorities in case of an emergency.

Here’s what happens once you press the Help button, according to a blog post on Uber’s official India blog:
– Riders will have the option to connect with the local police via a phone call.
– Instant alerts with complete rider, driver and trip information are sent to:
1) The local Police authorities in cities that have deployed our SOS alert solution.
2) Our Incident Response Team that is on standby 24×7 so our response agents can monitor the trip in real-time, provide instant phone support and relay critical trip information to the police.

An automated text message is sent to pre-selected Emergency Contacts with detailed trip status; allowing them to monitor the trip in real-time via GPS. Check out the video below to see how the system works.

The app based taxi service has been mired controversy ever since an Uber driver raped a passenger in New Delhi in December last year. The company has since taken multiple steps to improve rider safety, including independent background screening of all its drivers, masking passengers’ and drivers’ phone numbers from each other, and sharing live GPS location with pre-selected emergency contacts.

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