BEACON TRANSCRIPT – In an attempt to make cab rides safer, Uber is now planning on deploying an early-warning system, designed to be used by passengers and cab drivers alike. For this purpose, Uber has chosen 22 US cities to test out the new emergency line.
In order to address the higher number of incidents involving Uber drivers and passengers, the company has decided to create a special emergency hotline. The new emergency line was called Critical Safety Response Line and, as stated, it is addressed to both driver and passengers.
So, what is this line and how can we use it?
As we mentioned before, Uber had every reason to design an early-warning system which can provide additional assistance. According to the company, once the driver or the passenger calls the line, his or hers call will be rerouted to two excellence centers from Chicago and Phoenix.
There, the driver or the passenger will receive additional information regarding their situation. However, Uber also mention that this new hotline is in no way a substitute for the official emergency line (911).
Moreover, Ed Davis, one of the members of Uber’s safety, who happens to be an ex-police officer declared that for criminal actions, Uber users should call 911 right away and not the Uber Critical Safety Hotline. Davis also pointed out that the local police squad can intervene quicker in the case of an emergency than a corporate company situated miles away.
The ex-Boston commissioner also released a few comments regarding the panic button. In India, Uber decided to install a panic button in cabs, after a woman filed complaints against a former Uber driver. According to the woman’s testimony, during the trip, the driver tried to rape her.
In order to counter such event, Uber India decided that a panic button is more than necessary. But it seems that the US doesn’t need a panic button.
Davis also agreed on this point, saying that too many means of notification might confuse people in an emergency situation. And so, the company decided that an emergency line is more useful than a panic button back in the States.
Now, according to Uber, the emergency line ( 1-800-353-UBER) should not be used in criminal cases. However, the line can be used to seek advice in the event of an emergency. For example, if someone lost his or hers insulin pen while on board, the person could place a call to the excellence center to seek advice.
In conclusion, Uber said that the early-warning system has been deployed in 22 cities, but it did not disclose a list of the towns involved in the experiment.