Skip to main content

Uber establishes ‘global response teams’ to protect riders and drivers

uber nyc scheduled rides app portland
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Uber HQ has rolled out a series of measures designed to bolster the safety of passengers using its ride-hailing service. The move, which builds on earlier announcements, follows a number of incidents over the last year where Uber drivers have allegedly assaulted riders during a journey. The safety of the drivers themselves has also come under scrutiny recently following alleged attacks in Belgium and the Netherlands.

In a message posted on the company’s blog on Wednesday, Phil Cardenas, Uber’s head of global safety, said the San Francisco-based company was “committed to ensuring Uber is the safest way to get around a city.”

Besides introducing a new code of conduct detailing how passengers and drivers should use the service, the company said it’s also planning to set up a global safety advisory board to review Uber’s safety practices on an ongoing basis, and, when necessary, suggest ways to improve them.

In addition, off-duty law enforcement and security experts are being brought in to run checks on drivers to ensure they’re complying with Uber’s safety standards. Incident response teams have also been set up in cities around the world. These “specially trained groups,” which are on call around the clock, are supposed to deal with “serious safety concerns” in a timely fashion, Cardenas said.

Following an alleged rape of a passenger by an Uber driver in India last year, the company was accused of failing to run effective background checks on new drivers. Cardenas hopes the new measures will help to improve the situation and instill confidence in those using the service.

Driver safety has also become an issue in recent weeks following alleged attacks by taxi drivers in Brussels and Amsterdam. Traditional taxi firms in many of the cities where Uber operates claim the company has no right to be there as its drivers lack professional qualifications. Authorities in a number of countries have banned the service on this basis, though Uber is appealing such decisions. The reported violent attacks on Uber drivers is, however, a worrying development for the company, and one it’ll want to ensure doesn’t become a common occurrence in the locations where it continues to offer its service.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Uber responds to gig-economy law by testing driver-led bidding system
Uber Driver

Uber drivers in California will be able to set their own fares as part of a new pilot program, which the rideshare company is testing as a response to the state’s new gig-economy law that categorizes individual contractors of a company as employees. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will begin testing the feature starting Tuesday, January 21. Drivers with passengers going to or from the Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, or Sacramento airports can charge their passengers up to five times the regular ride fare. 

Read more
Uber received more than 3,000 reports of sexual assault in the U.S. in 2018
uber super bowl strike new year eve

Uber received reports of more than 3,000 sexual assaults that are alleged to have taken place during trips made in the U.S. in 2018, according to the company’s own data.

The ridesharing service’s first-ever safety report, published on Thursday, said the 3,045 reported assaults occurred among 1.3 billion Uber rides taken during last year.

Read more
Uber thinks you’ll trade privacy for greater safety with new recording feature
An Uber App on a smartphone.

Your Uber rides will soon be audio recorded as part of a new security feature aimed at increasing riders’ safety. 

The Washington Post reports that the rideshare company confirmed the feature that was said to be in the works. Uber will begin to pilot the audio-recording feature in cars in Latin America starting in December. The company did not give a time frame on when the feature will be rolling out to U.S. riders, since Uber will have to abide by each state’s laws on the practice. 

Read more