Uber plans to block low-rating passengers in Australia & New Zealand


While addressing long-standing concerns among users and possibly helping to recruit drivers, the safety features also show that the Silicon Valley company is just as competitive as ever.

"The company's incredibly important to the world, and we have some incredibly talented technologists out there", he said.

Once Ride Check is initiated, riders and drivers are given access to Uber's Safety Toolkit. This alone makes the market for ride-sharing services get even smaller.

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CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been overseeing Uber for a year and says safety is a priority. If it senses an accident, the passenger will be sent questions to confirm there has been a crash, and it will prompt a 911 call.

The ride-hailing company will soon start testing voice controls for drivers, an insurance hub, and will add an emergency button for the driver version of its app (the feature is only available for riders at the moment). The feature will let drivers use voice commands to accept trips and communicate with customers, so they can keep their eyes on the road. Riders can also request trips using cross-streets instead of an exact street address.

Among the other features launched is one that improves rider safety by concealing specific pickup and drop off addresses. Drivers will also only see the "general area" of the beginning and end point of a trip after it ends.

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The move is created to deter riders from displaying poor Uber behavior, such as not turning up at pick-up spots, or leaving rubbish in cars at the end of their journey, according to the BBC.

The research division will be a part of Uber after the initial public offering, but it will also partner with other companies that are working on self-driving cars.

"We want Uber to be the safest transportation platform on the planet", Khosrowshahi said in his introduction Wednesday.

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In a separate blog post, Uber said the best way to ensure you maintain a high rider rating is to not ask drivers to break the law to get you to your destination faster than the law allows, be courteous and don't mess up the vehicle with smelly food or by spilling drinks.