Uber to add panic button to its Indian app on February 11th
On its blog today, Uber posted its side of the story saying that all existing drivers' information has been sent to the police and transport department for verification. New drivers are sent to the crime branch for verification, and a deal has been struck with third party background checker First Advantage to screen drivers.
On February 11th, the Uber app will have a panic button that alerts the local police if there is an emergency. Another new feature called Safety Net allows Uber riders to share trip data with as many as five friends or family members. In addition, U.S. safety experts have trained an Indian Incident Response Team which is at the ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In certain situations, this team will work with the local police.
Uber has been raising tons of money with an IPO expected. But no one is going to want to invest in a company whose employees are allegedly committing felonies. It seems that these are some pretty good rules that Uber can implement to improve the safety and well-being of its customers in India. We wouldn't be surprised to see some of these used in other countries. An Uber driver has been charged with rape in Boston, and a driver in Minnesota was arrested for possession of narcotics after crashing his car with a passenger in it. Cops found marijuana in the glove compartment. A panic button wouldn't help in that situation, but perhaps the third party background check might have kept this driver away from the steering wheel.
source: Uber, TimesofIndia via SlashGear