Uber brings Audio Recording and other safety features to the US

Uber brings Audio Recording and other safety features to the US
Getting an Uber ride can sometimes be scary, both for the rider and the driver alike. Uber has tried to assist both types of users by implementing a variety of safety features within the app. One of those features is Audio Recording, which has been out for about two years now, but not in the US as of yet.

Sachin Kansal, Vice President of Product Management at Uber, announced in an Uber Newsroom article that Audio Recording, amongst other safety features, will finally arrive in the US early next year.

The company will first make a small test run by releasing the Audio Recording feature to select areas, including Kansas City, Louisville, and Raleigh-Durham. Among the usual lookout for any bugs and software issues, Uber will probably also request some kind of feedback from both drivers and riders.

How does Uber Audio Recording work?

As Uber explains, users (riders and drivers) will be able to access the feature individually and independently. To start recording audio, you tap on the shield icon at the bottom right of the map screen and select “Record Audio.” Riders have to manually do this for each trip, whereas drivers have the option to leave Audio Recording on while they’re online.

Both parties will get a notification if the other has turned Audio Recording on. However, you won’t be able to listen to your own recording, in fact, even Uber won’t be able to do so. When either party decides to submit a safety report, they will get the option to upload the recorded audio from their phone.

Only after receiving a report can a trained Uber safety agent decrypt and review a submitted audio recording, determine what happened, and decide on the best course of action. If you were wondering what the difference is between Uber’s Audio Recording and using your built-in recorder, this is it.

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Uber’s Audio Recording feature was first introduced in Latin America where it has proven to be a great addition to the app and has received positive feedback from users. Currently, it is available in 14 out of the (more than) 80 countries that have Uber.

Uber seat belt alerts and enhanced RideCheck

Besides Audio Recording, Uber is releasing an improved version of RideCheck and an audible seat belt alert. RideCheck is a feature that Uber introduced all the way back in 2019, and it serves as a way for the app to recognize if something has gone wrong.

More precisely, RideCheck can detect if an accident has occurred and if there have been any irregular stops throughout the ride. Now, it is even smarter than before, being able to sense whether a ride takes an unexpected route or ends before the final destination.

If any of the mentioned irregularities get detected, Uber will send a warning notification to both the rider and the driver, prompting them to check if everything is alright. If something is not right, Uber will quickly reach out to emergency services.

Audible seat belt alerts, on the other hand, are something new for US Uber users. Despite being one of the best ways to prevent car accident injuries, many people still don’t wear a seat belt. Uber is trying to touch exactly on that issue by implementing proactive, audio seat belt alerts in the app.

At the start of a ride, the alert will appear on the driver’s phone, reminding all passengers to buckle their seat belts. Of course, the riders themselves will also receive a notification on their phone, telling them the same. Seat belt alerts will be coming early next year, just like the Audio Recording feature mentioned earlier. Here’s to hoping more people start wearing their seatbelts.

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