Uber has announced more safety features for the platform. The company already allows drivers and passengers in 14 countries to record the audio of their rides, and now the feature is coming to the US. It will pilot audio recordings in three US cities starting later this month.
Before they get in a car, riders will see in the Uber app whether their driver has opted into audio recordings — you can cancel the ride if you don’t want to be recorded. You can capture audio by tapping the shield button on the app’s map screen and choosing the Record Audio option. Everyone can record individual trips, and drivers have the choice to leave the feature on the entire time they’re available for rides.
Although the recordings are stored on riders’ and drivers’ devices, they won’t be able to listen to them. The recordings are encrypted and Uber says it can’t access them unless a driver or rider submits a safety report with an attached audio file. A safety agent can decrypt and listen to the recording when they review the report, and then take appropriate action if necessary.
Uber debuted the feature in Latin America two years ago. It says almost 70 percent of drivers and riders surveyed in Rio de Janeiro felt safer when using it.
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