Ride-sharing giant Uber has announced some new features for its smartphone app that will allow the company to monitor how its drivers behave on the road to help improve safety.
The new ‘safety pilots’ are the product of Uber’s partnership with the US Government's Highway Safety Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), aiming to improve rider and driver safety when using an Uber service.
Using the driver’s smartphone’s GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, the driver app monitors factors like aggressive acceleration, hard braking, speed and mobile phone use.
Following each trip the app will give the driver a summary of their service, giving tips on how to be safer and smoother, based on how many times they accelerated harshly or jumped hard on the brakes.
Other features of the new app include reminders to take a power nap after a lot of driving or driving at a time when people are normally tired - like at night. The app will also remind drivers to put their mobile phone on a dashboard mount as opposed to holding it in their hands.
A digital speed readout also allows drivers and passengers to monitor the vehicle’s speed during the trip.
Uber hopes that these new initiatives will encourage its drivers to be safer on the roads, while also providing a more reliable and trusted service.
The company already prides itself on its role in helping to reduce the rate of alcohol-related deaths and driving under the influence (DUI) arrests on US roads.
Initially available to drivers in 11 American cities, the updated app will slowly be rolled out to more cities in the US and then around the world in the near future.
Uber says that by providing people with more choices, it can help them to make better decisions. By using these new technologies the company hopes it can improve the safety of everyone on the road.
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