Uber Is Adding A Brand-New Safety Feature. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Refinery29 is proud to collaborate with Uber on an interactive, multidisciplinary new installation for 29Rooms, designed to help us explore the idea of "safety" and the role it plays in empowering us to move freely, wherever we may be going. Ahead, read about the company's latest innovations and ongoing offerings focused on ensuring safer journeys for everyone.
For most city dwellers, transportation isn’t merely about moving as efficiently as possible from point A to point B — it’s a tenet of daily life. It’s where you start and end your day. So for all their convenience, it’s essential that we strive to make our modes of transportation safe, comfortable spaces, too.
That’s why 29Rooms is partnering with Uber to help shed light on the company's commitment to safety.
Sure, you're familiar with Uber. Recently, you’ve probably noted some negative headlines. But you might be less familiar with the work the company's doing when it comes to safety. As of late, it's partnered with more than 120 sexual assault prevention organizations to help inform safety policies and programs and released a slew of new features — all in an effort to set a new standard in ridesharing safety. 
“Safety will always be a long-term commitment for us, and we have a responsibility to help keep people safe in the communities we serve. We are constantly working and innovating to improve the safety of our platform — from developing cutting-edge technology to strengthening background screenings and policies,” a spokesperson for the company says. 
Enter: RideCheck, a new safety feature in the Uber app available across the U.S. Using GPS technology and smartphone sensors, RideCheck can help detect if there’s a potential crash or if your trip goes unusually off-course. Uber will then check in with both the rider and driver to make sure everything is okay and provide access to key safety tools and support.
Of course, that’s in combination with a number of foundational safety features Uber already offers: For one, all drivers undergo both a driving and criminal background check before their first trip (plus, Uber re-screens drivers every year while using technology to scan for issues in between). There’s also an emergency button that lives inside of the Uber app, so you can easily share info about the make, model, license plate, and location of your car with 911 dispatchers in case of emergency (and in many U.S. locations, this information is even shared automatically). Beyond that, a support team is available 24/7 for non-urgent safety issues, and every trip on the Uber app is insured.
“We recognize and appreciate the trust people put in us to help get them where they need to be,” a spokesperson for Uber says. “When it comes to safety, our work is never done.”
Check back here for details on the Uber x 29Rooms installations in New York City and Los Angeles.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series