After being launched in the U.S. earlier this year, Uber will be rolling out an ’emergency assistance’ button for Uber drivers and riders in Australia and New Zealand over the next few weeks.
The new button will be accessible in a new Safety Toolkit, which will look like a ‘shield’ icon in the bottom right corner of the map while on a trip. From there it can connect the driver or rider with 000 if the need arises. Their real time location will be shown in the app on the map and as an address so it can be easily shared with a 000 operator.
Connection to emergency services is just one of the safety features being launched by the ride sharing company. The Safety Toolkit will also allow you to add 5 people as ‘Trusted Contacts’ and share your trip and location with them.
Riders will also be able to learn more about their driver, including background checks and insurance protection.
These additional safety features will be a welcome addition to the app, particularly after the large number of sexual assaults that have been reported.
In Australia, this includes a Sydney Uber driver being charged with the alleged rape of a teenager in late August.