Uber testing new safety feature in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn

Uber testing new safety feature in B'ham
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:44 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Uber is giving you another tool to help you feel safer.

The company is testing a feature in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn that lets riders and drivers record audio of their trips. Riders or drivers who set up the feature on their phones can stop your recordings at any time­, or Uber will end it once the trip is complete.

Uber’s product manager Andi Pimentel Dunn says people who want to use the feature have to set it up on their phones in the app’s safety toolkit, and that Uber is protecting the ride recording.

“Once a recording is completed, that recording is encrypted and it is stored on your device, meaning that no one can access it, the rider cannot access it, the driver cannot access it and Uber cannot access it’ says Dunn. “The only way that Uber can then access that recording is if and when the user decides to send it to us when reporting a safety incident.”

The app already includes an emergency button that allows riders to text 911 and a “follow my ride” feature that offers real-time tracking information for friends and loved ones.

Dunn says the rideshare service is considering even more safety features.

“We’re actually trialing, we call it in-app video recording or ‘record my ride.’ We’re trialing this feature in very few markets in the us as well as Mexico and Brazil. We started trialing this in November of last year, so it’s super small, very much in pilot phase, but video is definitely something that we are looking into.”

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