Ride-share company Uber has announced a new wave of additional safety features for its users, including a new way to text 911 and a partnership with security company ADT.
Passengers can now connect to an ADT safety agent “for those less critical moments that don’t require police, fire, or medical assistance,” explained Uber’s Lead Safety Product Manager Rebecca Payne.
The other new feature is the text to 911 tool that pre-populates a message to dispatchers with vehicle details, location, and destination information so that riders can seek help more discreetly.
It’s not the first time the company’s safety procedures have been called into question, either. In 2016, Uber temporarily ceased operations in Austin after the city tried to get the app to implement fingerprint background checks. In 2017 London threatened to ban Uber from the city due to safety concerns.
Uber claims that most of its rides do not end in dangerous situations and noted that sexual assault reports dropped by 38% in its 2019-2020 safety report.