Uber, the popular ride-hailing company, has announced the rollout of its new in-app audio recording feature for users in Kenya.
The in-app audio recording feature is a great step towards ensuring the safety and security of all Uber users.
Imran Manji, Head of East Africa, Uber, explained that the feature will improve the conduct of users on the Uber app and provide better evidence for investigating safety incidents.
“The safety of the users on our platform is a key priority for Uber. We believe that this feature will further improve the conduct of users of the Uber app, as drivers and riders hold each other accountable every step of the way. We have rolled this feature out in other markets where it has proven very successful, and we are hoping to see similar uptake across the country,” Imran explained.
“Verbal altercations and other violations can be difficult to investigate without evidence, however with Audio Recording in place, we are confident that Uber will be better able to adjudicate such incidents to ensure that the appropriate action is taken,” says Manji.
How it works
Once enabled, riders and drivers can record audio during their trips by tapping the shield icon on the map screen and selecting “Record Audio.”
They can choose to record individual trips, and drivers also have the option to leave the feature on while they’re online. Before the trip, riders will be notified if a driver has opted into the feature.
To ensure privacy, the audio file is encrypted and stored on the rider and driver’s devices, and by default, no one, including Uber, can listen to it.
If either user submits a safety report to Uber, they can attach the audio file to their report. The recording will auto-delete after a few days if no safety incident is reported.
A trained Uber safety agent will then decrypt and review the submitted audio recording, along with any other relevant information, to determine what happened and the best course of action.
Importantly, it is up to the user when to record audio and when to share it with Uber.
Other safety features on the app
Trusted Contacts: Riders can choose their Trusted Contacts in the app and set reminders to share their trip details.
Verify My Ride: Riders can opt-in to receive a unique PIN that will automatically be sent to their driver for wireless verification. The driver will only be able to begin the trip once the correct PIN is verified.
RideCheck: Using sensors and GPS data, RideCheck can help detect if a trip has an unexpected long stop or a possible crash. If Uber notices such events, they will check on both the rider and driver and offer resources to help.
The article was updated with Imran Manji’s comments.