Uber testing in-app panic button for riders who feel unsafe

By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: May. 7, 2019 2:17 pm

Most Uber rides go off without a hitch.

Sometimes, though, issues can arise — issues that could potentially be life-threatening in nature.

Passengers have been sexually assaulted and even killed while using ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

To help make riders feel safer, Uber is testing an in-app panic button, Atlanta TV station WSB reports.

Tap the panic button and your location, a description of the vehicle you're in and other crucial information would immediately be relayed to emergency dispatchers.

“This shows us more accuracy for the 911 operators as it's occurring," Capt. Keith Kelley with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department told WSB. "So as the vehicle is moving down the road we are getting a map with pins, locations of where the vehicle is.”

One problem, however, is that many agencies don't have the technology needed for the system to work, the station reported. Some are planning on making upgrades, while others aren't at this time.

Details on when, or if, Uber will roll out the panic button feature nationwide have yet to be released.

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