Uber unveils new audio recording feature during journeys as part of safety improvements

UberX driver Michael Belet checks the Uber client app to see where other Uber drivers are working to determine where the best place to get fares is, April 7, 2014, in Washington, DC. Thousands of local car owners have signed up

Uber is launching a new audio recording option for drivers and riders during journeys. This new functionality is part of several new security initiatives launched by the company.

According to a press release from the company, a pilot and a driver can activate the audio recording function choosing to record audio by tapping the shield icon on the map screen in the app and choosing “record audio”.

Drivers and Uber passengers have the option of recording trips. Prior to the trip, Uber will notify the driver in their app if a driver has chosen to use the audio recording feature.

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Audio recording files are encrypted and stored on the driver’s and Uber driver’s devices to help protect their privacy. No one can listen to audio, including Uber. The company states that if a passenger or driver submits a safety report to Uber, the audio recording can be added to the report.

The new audio recording will premiere in three U.S. cities later this month. Uber has yet to say which cities it would be.

This program was first launched in Latin America almost two years ago to better support passengers and drivers who have reported security incidents to Uber. Currently, the audio recording feature is available in 14 countries, including Mexico and Brazil, according to Uber.

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In addition to the audio recording function, Uber is launching Audible seat belt alerts and RideCheck enhancements.

The audible seat belt alert reminds the driver to wear his seat belt before a trip. According to Uber, the audio alert will come from the driver’s phone. A push alert is sent to the rider’s phone asking him to fasten his seat belt. This security device should be launched in 2022.

The new improved version of Uber RiderCheck function can detect potential problems with a trip. If this happens, the rider and Uber driver will receive a “RideCheck” message asking if everything is okay.

Driver and driver can notify Uber through the app that everything is fine and there is an option to use the emergency button or report an issue to the company’s security incident reporting line.

In 2019, Uber launched the RideCheck feature using GPS data and sensors from the Uber driver’s smartphone to determine if an accident has occurred or if there has been a long stop during a trip.

This story was reported from Washington, DC

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