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New Uber Feature Allows Riders “Discreetly” Report Drivers

uber | Photo: software engineering daily

Is your driver texting while driving?

Uber has updated its app to let riders “discreetly” report instances that may not rise to the level of an emergency but still made them feel unsafe while on a trip, The Verge reports.

According to Uber,  examples of such instances include “harsh braking,” “inappropriate remarks,” or a driver who isn’t paying attention to the road.

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Lately, Uber has been trying to strike a balance between improving safety for riders and recognizing that drivers can be victims, too. The company recently released its first safety report, in which it disclosed that 3,045 sexual assaults occurred during Uber trips in 2018.

Additionally, nine people were murdered during Uber rides, and 58 people died in auto-related crashes. Interestingly, Uber said that drivers reported being victims of assaults at roughly the same rate as riders.

But, in as much as it added an in-app panic button in 2018 that lets riders contact 911 at the touch of a button, not all safety instances require calling the police.

Which is why riders can now subtly snitch on their drivers from right in the app. Uber says the feature is intended to give riders the opportunity to report inappropriate behavior during a trip, when it’s on the top of their mind, rather than at the end of the trip.

“By eliminating barriers to reporting safety issues, our goal is to encourage more reporting which will ultimately help make the app safer for everyone,” Uber says.

The hope, of course, is that this new feature isn’t abused by riders to report their drivers for insignificant slights, like not driving fast enough or failing to comport themselves in a way that’s expected by the rider. Riders already hold a lot of sway over drivers through the rating system.

Drivers are routinely deactivated for falling below a certain level. Riders can be deactivated, too, but that happens much less frequently.

The new feature is available starting today in the US and Canada.

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