Uber has been quite a success, with presence in as many as 53 countries by now. However, it has also faced quite a many problems on the way, like in India, back in December 2014, when one of its drivers allegedly sexually assaulted a female customer. Uber has been treading lightly in India, ever since, and it has been taking up local safety as one of its top priorities. A recent update to the Uber app has added the option to share ride status with five emergency contacts, and an SOS button, which is an option to make an emergency call to the local police. Looks like Uber isn't going to stop there. Today, Uber, in a blog post, announced that it will team up with SafetiPin, a location-based safety app, as a step forward in making Uber customers feel safer in India.
SafetiPin is an app which gives a safety score to every location depending upon the location conditions, based on a total of nine parameters, and enhanced by photographs and comments from their trained safety auditors, during audits. This collaboration means that Uber will help SafetiPin collect the required data by providing their partner-driver, trained to work with SafetiPin auditors. The auditors will collect the data at night, using camera phones mounted on the cars of the Uber partner-drivers, taking photos, and then analyze the nine required parameters, lighting, openness, visibility, security, walk path, crowd and gender diversity and density, to give the location its safety score.
This data will not just be tagged and made available to the customers, but it will also be provided to the city government, which will also work closely with Uber and SafetiPin to improve the safety conditions, making the city safer, not only to Uber customers, but to everyone. The areas where improvements are implemented will get re-assessed over time, in order to update the safety score. The project will begin on February 25, and will run over a span of 5 months. Uber has also stated that this program will not be kept limited to the Indian market, but will also be expanded to other global markets, including Bogot¡, Colombia and Nairobi, Kenya, in the near future, and will aim to cover around 20,000 kilometers of area.
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