Uber has launched a new safety preferences section that gathers all of Uber’s safety tools in one place and lets users schedule them to switch on automatically.

Some of the safety tools you can customize include audio recording — which saves encrypted audio of the trip that Uber can use to investigate reported incidents — and PIN verification, so you can ensure you’re entering the right vehicle. You can also share your live location and ride details with people you trust via ShareMyTrip, while RideCheck notifies Uber when a ride suddenly stops or goes off-course.

You can choose to activate all of Uber’s safety features by default for every ride or customize your settings based on time and location. For example, you can set it to turn on ShareMyTrip only on weekends or after 9PM or turn on PIN verification whenever you’re within 50 meters of certain bars or restaurants.

Image: Uber

To set up your safety preferences, head to your Account page in the Uber app and click on “Safety checkup.” Under “Safety preferences,” tap on “Start setup” and add your safety tool preferences. You’ll then be directed to a new page, where you can choose whether to set schedules for all, some, or no rides. You can also tap on the Safety Toolkit blue shield and then click “Set up safety preferences” while on a ride.

The new safety preferences page is currently only available in the US, Canada, and Latin America, but Uber will be expanding it to other regions in the future.

In the past few years, Uber has added a number of safety features in response to allegations of sexual assault and other unsafe conditions like car accidents and robberies. Data from the company’s most recent safety report reveals Uber received 9,805 reports of sexual assault in its rides and 852 reports of rape from 2017 to 2020. However, the company claims it’s seen a 38 percent drop in sexual assaults since its first safety report from 2018.

Safety issues like sexual assault impact not only riders but also drivers, forcing some women to fend for themselves through buddy systems created via local Facebook groups.

“They don’t do enough when a driver is assaulted,” Michelle Dottin, a driver and advocate, told The Verge in 2022. “Safety, in general, should be for everyone. It shouldn’t be one-sided, and the way that these companies do it, it feels more one-sided — they don’t really worry as much about their drivers.”


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