Late last year, Uber was booted from India after one of its drivers raped a passenger, and though the service has since re-launched in New Delhi, it has done so with the promise of better safety practices aimed at keeping its users safe. As part of this, the ridesharing service will be adding an SOS/panic button to its app for those in the region, as well as the ability to shuttle details about one’s trip and current location to up to five individuals.
That panic button and location-sharing feature will be arriving on February 11, and is the company’s current comprise, coming at a time when demand for physical in-car panic buttons are high. By Uber’s reasoning, drivers who drive for more than one company would have to have more than one panic button in a car. This could confuse someone who is distressed.
In addition, says the company, those panic buttons will suffer from wear and tear over time, and might even stop functioning properly at some point, which is likely to only be noticed once the button is needed. The in-app button is the present solution, offering users a way to get help without drivers having to install buttons.
Uber isn’t entirely opposed to the idea of physical in-car panic buttons, however; rather, it wants to see a few conditions in place, primarily that only a single button be installed in a car. Likewise, Uber wants the burden of having that button installed to be on the driver, not the company, and it wants the buttons to route to the police.
SOURCE: Uber Blog