How Uber’s Updated App Will Improve Road Safety

Apart from being one of the most lucrative California-based companies, Uber is also credited with a significant contribution to the reduction of car accidents in all the cities it services. Despite much debate over the extent of Uber’s contribution due to the lack of comprehensive data, Uber relentlessly persists in its efforts to improve road safety. The company not only published more data on their impact on drunk driving, but also launched additional features to track driving behavior. Many fear the updated app might violate Uber’s drivers’ privacy, and many wonder why Uber would decide on the update while its legal dispute with its drivers is barely yesterday’s news. Interestingly enough, the updated app is expected to protect not only the riders but also the drivers, at least in the 11 U.S. cities the app will be made available.

Reminders and Alerts Against the ‘’Four D’s’’

The new features most consist of a number of alerts and reminders the drivers will receive every time their driving is deemed dangerous. The general idea is to measure all the potential indicators of dangerous driving and alert the drivers in real time, so as to eliminate all possible causes of road accidents. To this end, the app will mostly rely on GPS data from the drivers’ phones. The series of alerts and reminders is aimed at improving road safety during every ride.

Speeding alerts will be sent to drivers when they exceed the speed limit in the city or on the highway. It seems only logical that drivers are fully aware of the fact they might be putting themselves and others in danger if they go over the speed limit, but many often disregard it. It is believed that if they have an actual alert, the drivers will be less inclined towards speeding.

A particularly interesting feature is the reminder the drivers will receive whenever they are supposed to take a break. Strange as it may sound, it is likely that some drivers simply forget to take the much needed break. Ride after ride, the driver is in turn likely to become tired, which may lead to drowsy driving – a dangerous member of the ‘’four D’s’’.  Even though it is common-sense that drivers should take a break every now and then, Uber still decided to tackle drowsy driving in an explicit way.

Another seemingly common-sense feature is the reminder to drivers not to hold their phones in their hands, but mount it on the dashboard instead. This reminder is aimed at eliminating the cause of yet another member of the infamous four – distracted driving.

Post-Ride Report Cards Against False Reviews

While speeding alerts and the reminders are expected to enhance road safety during every ride, the post-ride reports are aimed at improving it after every ride. The drivers will get an explicit evaluation of how safe their driving was, based on the measurement of speed and harsh breaking, among others. Each report should be a summary of all the reminders and alerts and give a clear picture of how safe the ride was.

Uber aims to increase not only the safety but also the transparency of its services. The riders will have online access to driving patterns of different drivers, so they can make an informed choice. Moreover, if they were dissatisfied with the ride, they could have actual evidence to corroborate their negative review. The reports can be extremely beneficial to drivers. Just as the riders can prove the ride was unsafe, so can the drivers disprove a false claim against them.

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