Uber releases 'RideCheck' safety feature in Canada
VANCOUVER -- Uber announced that a new safety feature that can detect crashes or unexpected stops during a trip is being released in Canada.
The feature, called RideCheck, allows Uber to check in with passengers and drivers if something has gone wrong during a ride.
The feature was launched in the U.S. in fall 2019, and it was released in Vancouver, as well as other Canadian markets, on Wednesday. The feature is not yet available in Quebec, but the company said if long stops are detected, drivers and riders across the country will get an in-app message.
When RideCheck is activated, both the driver and the rider will receive a message asking if everything is OK. A message will then pop up with options such as reporting a crash, adding or changing the destination, or reporting that everything is fine and the ride was stopped on purpose.
"They can let us know through the app that all is well, or take other actions like contacting 911 through the emergency button or reporting the issue to Uber's Safety Line," the company said in a statement. "In the event of a crash, we can also help expedite the insurance claims process."
Uber said in an emailed statement that even after a rider or driver has responded that they are OK, they can still access the "safety toolkit" in the app at any point during the trip.
"If there is conflicting information (between the rider and driver), our support team will reach out to both the rider and driver to help understand what happened on the trip," Uber said in an emailed statement.
Uber said if the 911 feature is activated in the app, the rider or driver will be able to see their exact location so they can provide it to a dispatcher.
Last year, Uber revealed that more than 3,000 riders and drivers were sexually assaulted while using the service in 2018. The report said 464 people were raped while using Uber in 2017 and 2018, and 92 per cent of those were riders. The report only examined the company's operations in the U.S. The company said it plans to release a safety report every two years.
With files from the Associated Press