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Uber Is Making Passengers Safer By Protecting Their Pickup Locations

Uber has unveiled new safety measures in an effort to make their brand more trustworthy for passengers and drivers alike.

Some features have already been released in the U.S., such as a button for users to quickly contact emergency services, which was launched in March of this year.

The ride-hailing company revealed more planned measures in New York City on Wednesday, some of which will be implemented right away while others will be seen later on down the road.

If the app detects there has been an accident or an unplanned stop, a new feature will allow it to reach out directly to passengers and drivers. There will also a new hands-free feature for drivers to be able to pick up their passengers without needing to have their phones in their hands.

Another new feature will prevent drivers from seeing specific location details of passenger pick-up and drop-off addresses once the ride has been completed. The app will only show the driver the general area. Riders can also request trips using cross-streets rather than providing an exact stress address for added safety.

RELATED: UBER RUNS BACKGROUND CHECKS ON DRIVERS

Uber CEO Dara Khorsowshahi spoke at the unveiling and explained these new features are only the beginning, and the company aspires to become the "safest transportation platform on the planet."

Via Uber

2018 has been a year of repair for Uber following a series of major scandals and bad press. Since it began in 2009, the company has faced serious backlash, particularly from drivers harassing and assaulting passengers.

Khorsowshahi took over as CEO a year ago after its previous CEO, Travis Kalanick, resigned amidst corporate scandal. In April, he began implementing annual criminal background checks on U.S. Uber drivers after an investigation found at least 10 U.S. based drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers.

"During my first year at Uber, we've put safety at the heart of everything we do," Khorsowshahi said in a press release on the Uber website. "I'm proud of this progress, but we aren't stopping there...we're raising the bar on safety by unveiling new features that will help protect all our customers and the information they entrust to us."

Via PCMag.com

Uber will now use GPS and other sensors in the driver's phone to detect possible crashes in a feature they have dubbed Ride Check.

"When a Ride Check is initiated, riders and drivers will be prompted to use our Safety Toolkit, which includes the option for 911 assistance," Khorsowshahi said. "Our safety team can also follow up by phone to make sure everyone is safe."

In addition to detecting crashes, the new technology will also indicate increased safety risks, like if the trip includes a long, unexpected stop, at which point a Ride Check notification will be sent to both driver and passenger to see if there is a problem.

Khorsowshahi said Uber users can expect to see these new features on their app over the next few months, as well as even more new features later, "because when it comes to safety, our work is never done."

"We want you to have peace of mind every time you user Uber, and hope these features make it clear that we've got your back," he said.

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