NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Ride sharing service Uber is rolling out a set of new security standards the company says will improve safety.
They include the addition of an updated code of conduct, a security advisory board and a quality assurance initiative that will use partnerships with local law enforcement.
“Safety is something that is always evolving and we are constantly improving the safety of the platform,” Uber Spokesman Taylor Bennett said.
The international ride sharing company operates in Nashville and many other cities.
“A rider knows who their driver is,” Nashville Uber General Manager Luke Marklin said. “All trips are logged and GPS enabled.”
The new code of conduct has detailed expectations for riders and drivers. The Safety Advisory Board will work with Uber to review safety practices and advise the company on other safety features that could be needed in the future.
The Quality Assurance aspect will work with local law enforcement including off-duty officers and security professionals to audit Uber activity to make sure everyone is following the code of conduct. Quality Assurance will also deal with local issues that may arise.
The Incident Response Teams will respond to serious safety concerns quickly and will be distributed in regions around the world.
Uber already does background checks, but the company had a review of the background check process to make sure it’s able to catch any possible problems in a driver’s past that would disqualify them for driving with Uber.
There will also be some safety product updates, including an SOS button that would allow a rider to alert law enforcement of an issue directly from their smartphone.
Right now the SOS button is only available in India, but Uber plans to roll it out in the United States at a later date.
Uber customer Ryan Stubbs said he is glad the company is updating its security plans.
“I have enjoyed using it and have never worried about safety, maybe because I’m a man,” he said. “But I could see how those security protocols could give other people peace of mind.”
Stubbs, who works at a local restaurant, said he even calls Uber for patrons who are not sober enough to drive.
“We can always rely on an Uber,” he said. “I know if I am going to go out drinking I will use an Uber because it is safer.”
Metro Nashville Transportation Licensing director Billy Fields supports the increased measures.
“Anytime a service takes steps to improve safety we appreciate it,” he said. “Everything we do from a regulation stand point is about safety.”
In December, the Metro Council passed regulations for ride sharing companies. They are much like the regulations for delivery services.