DENVER — Next time you request an Uber ride in Colorado, you will have the option to access a new safety feature in the app. The rideshare company rolled out this feature for riders and drivers to record audio at any point during their trip.
Driver and riders can set-up the feature in the app, under Safety Toolkit. Once enabled, the feature gives both parties the option to record audio during a trip by tapping the blue shield icon on the map screen and hitting 'Start' on the record audio option.
Uber's safety product manager, Andi Pimmentel Dunn, said this new safety feature will prevent incidents and document incidents when it happens in real time.
“Audio recording is a product that has a goal to encourage more safe, more respectful, more comfortable interactions between drivers and riders by allowing users to record audio of the Uber trip, straight from the Uber app," Dunn said.
Once an audio recording is completed, the audio is encrypted and saved directly on the phone of the person who enabled the audio recording. According to the rideshare company, no one will be able to listen to the recording, including Uber, the rider, or the driver unless one of the parties submits a safety report to Uber and attaches the encrypted audio file.
“I do think it’s important to stress that privacy was central to the design of this product, which is why the recording are encrypted and stored on the device, and no one can access them until the user decides to send it over to support, so that’s a really important part of the feature," Pimmentel Dunn said.
If after a week, the user does not submit the recording, the audio will expire from the device. Users will receiv
e a notification a few days before letting them know before the audio is deleted and the user will also have the option to delete the recording manually.
“We’ve heard really positive feedback from riders and drivers who have utilize this feature, they say it makes them feel safer and they want to see more features like this brought to the market," Pimmentel Dunn said. "We want to lean into technology in order to be able to do so."
The audio recording feature launched in Latin America in 2019 and is currently live in several cities including Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins.
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