Safety rests on both Uber and riders: Top executive

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The safety of the riders during Uber trips is a joint responsibility, a top company official said on Thursday, as driver-related bad incidents grew significantly in India in recent times.

“We do have exact data of drivers who cancel trips in India. If we find out that a driver is excessively cancelling rides, we take action on him. We recommend users to report such incidents immediately as the safety of our platform is a joint responsibility,” Sachin Kansal, Senior Director of Global Safety Products, Uber, told IANS here.

“For the Uber app to work, you need network connectivity. However, there are some features within our ecosystem that do work without connectivity. For example if you’re already in the car and you want to turn the audio-recording feature, that works. But the uploading part will not function,” Kansal said when asked how the company will ensure if there’s a ride irregularity amid lack of connectivity.

Uber would pilot audio recording as a pioneering feature in the Indian market later this year. The in-ride audio recording feature is currently available in Brazil and Mexico.

“Over the past three years, we have introduced several features to enhance safety standards on our platform. Today, we raise the bar again as we work towards introducing audio recording in India as a pilot this year and roll-out the ‘RideCheck’ feature for long stop and midway drop-offs,” Kansal noted.

The global ride hailing giant announced three safety features for the country — PIN verification, “RideCheck” and in-ride audio recording.

The safety features announced on the platform will be applicable to all the Uber services including Uber Moto and Uber Auto.

Uber in December released its first safety review which contains thousands of sexual assault reports globally. The company also revealed the changes it was making to make rides safer for its passengers and drivers.

The two-year safety review contains almost 2,936 reports pertaining to sexual assault globally that Uber received in 2017 and 3,045 it received in 2018.

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