Rolling out in 23 countries across Europe, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is using the launch to prove that safety is a top priority for Uber.
The new safety features are launching in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK, offering new rider, driver and courier features that users will be able to access in the app.
Over the coming weeks, users will see a ‘shield’ icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the app during their trip which will open up the new toolkit.
The Safety Centre will give riders and drivers a dedicated place in the app to learn about key safety tips and information. This includes 24/7 in-app support, information on the driver and the car, trip GPS-tracking and Uber’s rating and feedback system.
Users can select up to five friends or family members as Trusted Contacts and select when they want to be prompted to share their trip details. The feature also allows users to call for emergency assistance from local authorities directly from the app.
Before placing a call Uber will provide users with useful information, such as their real-time GPS location (both on a map and as an address), car make and model, and license plate so these can easily be shared with the local operator.
To help protect user data, in addition to real time phone anonymisation and anonymising rider’s namea after a trip, the app will now conceal specific pickup and drop-off addresses.
Going forward, after a trip ends, the driver’s trip log will only show the general area where a trip started and ended, not the address.
In the blog announcing the launch, Uber also announced two-factor authentication, which provides an extra layer of security when logging in.
“We want to give people more control over their account security,” it read. “In the past, we’d text you a code to verify your account if we detected a suspicious login attempt or new device.
“While we will continue to provide that protection to all users by default, we’re enhancing our two-step verification process to give riders the option to use this feature every time they log into their account.”
Riders can now choose to use text messages or third-party authentication apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, or Duo by going into their account settings and selecting their preferred method.
In additional to the Safety Toolkit features Uber is also launching features in its new app for more than 70,000 licensed drivers and couriers across the UK.
These include a Driver Insurance Hub, offering drivers and couriers across Europe free AXA insurance coverage which includes sickness, injury and maternity and paternity protections.
The new driver app puts the driver’s insurance details in one place so they can easily access documents, such as proof of insurance, and learn more about coverage both on and off trip. They will also get speed alerts through the app.
“Experts say that letting people know how fast they’re going, relative to the speed limit, can help them travel at safer speeds,” said the blog.
“The new app puts this feature right on the map, so that drivers and couriers always know the speed limit so you can stay safe on the road.”