New Delhi: Months after an Uber driver was accused of allegedly raping a woman passenger, the company has brought in a dedicated safety feature for its users. The feature—an SOS button—will now connect the passengers directly to the police control room when pressed.
A company spokesperson in its blog said the app-based taxi service has upgraded its SOS button. The US-based firm had introduced the button in February this year following safety concerns. Earlier, using the button, passengers could dial 100 as well as share their trip details and real-time location with up to five friends and family members. Now, police will also receive details like GPS location, passenger’s and driver’s information like name, photo and vehicle number.
In the statement, Uber said the SOS alert contains “critical trip information including exact vehicle location tracked via GPS. This information is projected on a dedicated screen in the control room of local law enforcement which has been set up by Uber’s safety experts. This latest tech upgrade to the existing SOS feature enables the police to act within seconds of being alerted in the rare event of an emergency, when every second counts.”
Delhi Police spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, confirmed that they have access to the information. “The alert will immediately be forwarded to the police control room, with the relevant information, so that action can be taken immediately,” said Bhagat.
The company said it is in advanced discussions with authorities to launch this solution in multiple cities across India in the coming weeks. It has already conducted an intensive and successful period of beta-testing in Kolkata, it added.
The move comes even as the transport department has continued with its ban on app-based taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola. The Delhi transport department has been asking for a range of documentation and regulations to be followed by these transport services, which are being disputed by the companies, said a senior government official.
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