New York - Uber is aiming to boost driver and passenger safety in an effort to rebuild trust in the brand.
The ride-hailing company has created a feature on its app to reach out to passengers and drivers if it detects an accident or unplanned stop. Drivers will also have access to a hands-free feature to pick up passengers without touching their phones, and they will no longer see data detailing where they retrieved passengers in the past.
"This is just the beginning of the journey for Uber," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday during the company's unveiling of the new features in New York City. "We want Uber to be the safest transportation platform on the planet."
Uber plans to use location data to figure out if a stop seems unusual because there's no traffic or if a car hasn't made it to its final destination. The company has also added a button to its app for drivers to contact emergency services, similar to the one it created for passengers in March. Uber says using the button is more efficient than calling 911 because the Uber app contains the vehicle's exact location.
Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO a year ago, has made safety one of his top priorities. In April, Uber started doing annual criminal background checks on US drivers and hired a company to constantly monitor criminal arrests.