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Uber launches Safety Toolkit in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, 28 August (BPR/OurVoice): Uber, the world’s largest on-demand ride-sharing company announced the launch of “Safety Toolkit” – a consolidated and comprehensive set of features in-app for riders in Bangladesh, within months of its US rollout.

Keeping technology at the heart of Uber’s approach, the safety toolkit is aimed at building on the existing safety features available to riders in Bangladesh and improving both awareness and usage rates of some of the existing as well as newly introduced features. Riders can access the safety toolkit on the home screen of the app from the moment the driver accepts the trip through when the trip ends.

Commenting on the launch, Sachin Kansal, Director, Product Management, Uber said, “At Uber, safety is a top priority and we look towards harnessing technology to solve for rider and driver safety concerns in more innovative ways. The roll-out of Safety Toolkit to thousands of riders across Bangladesh is an extension of this commitment to the community that we serve. We’ve updated our platform to prioritize awareness and sensitization and make our safety features more accessible and easier to use. A key feature that we are introducing today as part of the Safety Toolkit is ‘Trusted Contacts’, which offers riders the option to automatically share all or selected late night trips with their family and loved ones”

Launched in the US in May, the Safety Toolkit’s design and features have been determined in large part, based on feedback from thousands of riders.

New features and investments

  • Safety Center:
    • Riders can find safety tips built in partnership with law enforcement and learn about our insurance protections, and community guidelines.
    • This puts key safety information and features for riders all in one place, which riders tell us is helpful.
  • Trusted Contacts:
    • Riders tell us that our Share Trip feature provides peace of mind, yet it is underutilized and suffers from lack of awareness or visibility.
    • Our new feature allows riders to designate up to 5 loved ones with whom they can be regularly prompted to Share Trip.
    • Riders can modify the settings to share all trips, night-time only trips, or none at all
    • This makes it easier than ever to share your trip so loved ones can follow along and ensure you’ve arrived safely while ensuring rider’s privacy
  • Emergency button: The emergency button that provided riders direct access to 999, the police control room, will now be placed under the shield button in the safety toolkit umbrella and will offer a quicker swipe feature for riders during an unwanted emergency.

Uber was the first ride-sharing company in Bangladesh to integrated the government’s helpline number in the app in August 2017, which prompt riders to dial 999 in case of an emergency. The introduction of this feature adds to the existing in-built repertoire of safety features in the Uber app. Technologies like Uber provide an incredible opportunity to improve safety of riders and drivers in new and innovative ways— before, during and after every ride.

The new changes will build on the safety benefits that ridesharing already brings to cities, such as helping people get reliable rides to their destination, tracking every trip with GPS and interlinking with the safety apps of local police authorities where available.

Uber is maximizing the use of technology to bring transparency and accountability to strengthen safety of riders on each trip. The company has introduced innovative features on its shared mobility platform like Real-time ID check, an emergency button, Share status option, two-way ratings of both riders and drivers and much more, in its bid to harness technology toward providing a safer commute options for its riders and drivers.

In line with the commitment to continue innovative for Safety, last week the company announced that it will open its first Technology Development Center in Latin America, focusing solely on safety, based in São Paulo. The Development Center in Brazil will initially focus on advanced technologies to improve safety around the world, working with advanced telematics, machine learning, high scale distributed systems, real time data processing and mobile development, among others. About 150 specialists will work at this new center to develop technologies that may become new features and functions globally.

It is mentionable that Uber’s mission is to bring reliable transportation to everywhere, for everyone. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get a ride at the touch of a button? Eight years and more than ten billion trips later, we’ve started tackling an even greater challenge: reducing congestion and pollution in our cities by getting more people into fewer cars.

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