File image: Uber. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Ride-hailing service, Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi released a statement which outlines several ways in which the company will prioritise drivers and passengers safety. 

Uber said that as technology brings millions of people together in cars all around the world, it is their responsibility to prioritise people's safety. 

"Every day, our technology puts millions of people together in cars in cities around the world. Helping keep people safe is a huge responsibility, and one we do not take lightly. That’s why as CEO, I’m committed to putting safety at the core of everything we do. I’m announcing several new improvements to double down on safety in our app, strengthen our screening process, and bring a new powerhouse advisor on board to help shape Uber’s next chapter", said the statement. 

The ride-hailing service then listed several new improvements, listed below:

- New features

Uber has updated its app with a safety center. The safety center provides users with information on safety information which is provided by the app. 

- Trusted contacts

Riders will be able to share their location with up to five of their close friends or family. This ensures that close friends will know when you arrive safely at your destination. 

- 911 Assistance

Uber will include an emergency assistance number in the app which will connect you to emergency services. 

- Driver screening

Uber said it will increase due diligence to strengthen its screening process. The screening process does a background check on Uber drivers. 

- Annual reruns

Uber said it will continue to do criminal and motor vehicle checks. 

- New offence notifications

Uber said it will invest in new technology that will "rapidly" identify new offences. Uber will directly receive information if a driver is involved in any offence. 

- Safety Advisory Board 

Uber has also appointed former U.S Secretary of Homeland Security, Jen Johnson as Chairman of Uber's Safety Advisory board. 

"From leading the country’s efforts to keep Americans safe to protecting the traveling public from the Ebola virus, Secretary Johnson brings global expertise that reflects Uber’s size and scale. He also co-authored the report that paved the way for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by Congress. Johnson will lead the six-member board, which consists of law enforcement, road safety, criminal justice, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention experts", said the statement. 

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