Uber doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation when it comes to keeping its riders safe. Its latest update could change that.
In a blog post, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi outlined a number of new features aimed at passenger security, including the capacity to dial 911 in-app and devoting riders the opportunity to designate trusted contacts who will be able to access journey details.
Additionally, Khosrowshahi pledged a stronger driver screening process and announced an expansion of the company’s Safety Advisory Board, which will now include former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. The feature changes will be rolled out sometime this summer.
“Every day, our technology puts millions of people together in autoes in cities around the world, ” he wrote. “Helping keep people safe is a huge responsibility, and one we do not take lightly. That’s why as CEO, I’m committed to putting safety at the core of everything we do.”
This may be little more than injury control and an effort to fight off the present and future lawsuits.
In 2016, an Uber driver in Chicago was charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated passenger. The following year, another Chicago woman sued the ride-sharing service over sexual assault by a different driver. A Los Angeles Uber driver was arrested on mistrust of sexual assault and kidnapping in 2017, and a Virginia driver was arrested in January 2018, again, for alleged sexual assault.
In 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utility reviewed the records of 70, 789 Uber and Lyft drivers, and found that 8,206( or roughly 11%) failed a background check — some with serious and violent sentences on their records( 51 of the rejected drivers were convicted sex offenders ).
If not for the screening, the drivers could still be on the road today, as they had passed whatever background check system the ride-sharing companies used.
Late last year, two women brought a class-action lawsuit against Uber, arguing negligence and systemic corruption. The lawsuit reads, in part 😛 TAGEND
“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired. Nothing meaningful has been done to construct rides safer for passengers — especially girls. This is no longer an issue of’ rogue’ drivers who act unlawfully.”
Among other actions, the lawsuit called on the company to address its driver background screening system.
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com