On Wednesday, February 15, Uber Canada announced a new in-app safety feature that will allow rideshare drivers and riders across the country to securely record audio during trips in case there is an on-trip incident, encouraging safety while also protecting privacy.
Originally launched in Latin America in 2019, the audio recording feature is currently live in more than a dozen countries. It was rolled out as a pilot in Calgary in November 2022.
"We’ve seen instances where the audio file has helped determine the best course of action after a safety incident, and the majority of riders and drivers in these cities told us this feature helped them feel safer when using Uber," a press release stated.
Drivers and riders can set up the feature in the Safety Toolkit in the app. Once enabled, the feature gives riders and drivers the option to record audio during a trip by tapping the blue shield icon on the map screen and hitting “Start” on the “Record Audio” option. Drivers and riders can start or stop an audio recording at any point during a trip. Unless ended manually by the user during the trip, the recording will automatically stop shortly after the trip is completed.
“We are thrilled to launch this important safety feature across Canada,” said Michael van Hemmen, General Manager of Uber Canada Mobility. “We’re always looking for ways to leverage our innovative technology to build features that help make Uber safer. We hope this audio recording feature will help give riders and drivers peace of mind by encouraging comfortable and positive interactions while on trips.”
To protect privacy, once an audio recording is completed, the audio file is encrypted and stored directly on the rider’s or driver’s device. No one will be able to listen to the recording, including Uber unless a safety incident is reported.
If a safety incident is reported through the app, the user will be able to attach the audio file to the report and share it with our specialized safety support team. At that time, the file will be decrypted and a trained safety agent will be able to review the submitted audio. The audio, along with other incident information, can help Uber determine the best course of action.
You can learn more about how it works on the Audio Recording information page.
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