Uber app’s new SOS feature allows passenger to contact police control room directly

By May 1st, 2015 AT 1:25 AM

The popular taxi hailing app Uber has upgraded its ‘SOS’ button in a way that it will now directly contact the police control room, if pressed. The contact with the control room is established almost instantaneously and the police can track every SOS alert in real-time within their city.

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It will thus provide the police, details like GPS location, rider and driver information, including his name, photo and vehicle number. The new development is a result of the safety concerns raised against Uber, following the rape case of a woman in Delhi by a driver working for Uber.

“We have developed a bespoke solution which is ready to be rolled out across cities in India. Now, when a rider pushes the SOS button, not only will they be connected with the local authorities over the phone but Uber’s backend system will simultaneously generate a real-time ‘SOS alert’ that is sent directly to the local police control room that responds to emergencies,” Uber said in a statement.

The new feature is already in trial run in Kolkata and it will soon be expanded to other cities in the coming weeks.

Uber India Safety Lead Deval Delivala sees this as an opportunity to establish collaborative safety measures with local law enforcing authorities in passenger safety. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Police departments and other law and order agencies around the country to embrace technology and improve accountability in urban mobility for the benefit of millions of commuters in cities across India,” Delivala said.

“It is important that industry and law enforcement take a strong collaborative approach towards ensuring passenger safety. Partnerships like these, where all stakeholders work together as a team with the best interests of the community at heart, will go a long way in making India safer,” former Commissioner of Police, Delhi, B.K. Gupta said.

Earlier, the Uber app’s SOS button dialed 100 for the customers. It also allowed the passenger to share trip details with five friends and family members. Comparatively, this new upgrade seems to be a better option for providing safety to customers.

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