Late last year, Uber was banned from India following rape allegations and although the firm has now re-launhced in New Delhi, it comes with a promise of better safety practices. To this effect, the service is planning an update to its app and will launch an in-app panic button and the ability to send details of your trip and current location to up to five individuals.
The two features will roll out in an update to the app which is set to land on February 11 and comes in response to user requests for a panic button inside Uber cars. The company found that requiring a physical in-car panic button has numerous challenges, not least that drivers who drive for multiple companies would theoretically require more than one panic button and this would lead to confusion for customers.
Uber also said that the panic buttons would suffer from wear and tear over a period of time and as such, may stop working, which would only be noticed when the button is needed most. The in-app button aims to solve this as it comes without the requirement to have physical installs within a car and with the proviso that it should work every time it is needed (presumably you’ll still need an internet connection.)
All being said, Uber isn’t ruling out the possibility of physical panic buttons in cars but wants them to come with a few conditions attached; the main one is that each car should only have a single button attached, which would be paid for by the driver and not the company and would route directly to the police.
Do you think the in-app button is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Uber Blog