Uber to detect when drivers crash

Uber is to use a new feature to detect when its drivers crash their cars.

The ride-hailing app firm, which has only been given a temporary licence in London, said it will use sensors in drivers’ phones to determine when a vehicle has been involved in an accident in the UK.

It will also use GPS data to identify when a journey has been interrupted by a long stop.

Someone using the Uber app
Someone using the Uber app

Both scenarios will activate the RideCheck feature, leading to a message being automatically sent to the phones of the driver and passengers involved.

This will direct them to safety features in the Uber app, including a button connecting them to the emergency services.

Uber is also introducing a discrimination reporting button to make it easier for the driver and passengers to alert the company about abuse.

The firm insists it will investigate any incidents and could ban people from using its service.

Uber is also collaborating with the AA to produce a video to educate drivers on topics such as reading the road, speed, space management and how to drop off and pick up passengers safely.

The safety measures are being introduced in more than 40 cities and towns across the UK served by Uber.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager, said: “There is nothing more important than the safety of our customers and the cities we serve.

“We are using our technology and partnering with the AA to raise the bar on safety but we won’t stop there because when it comes to safety on our platform our work is never done.”

AA logo
AA logo

AA president Edmund King said: “It is pleasing to see a business focused on passenger transport raising the profile of road safety and looking to strive towards better driving standards on the roads.”

In September, Uber’s right to operate in London was extended by just two months to November 24.

Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant the firm a full five-year licence and ordered it to provide “additional material” when it submits its next application.

In September 2017, TfL refused to renew Uber’s licence over safety and security concerns but the decision was overturned in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Earlier this month, an undercover BBC investigation revealed hundreds of minicab drivers could be working fraudulently in London.

It exposed that some private colleges are cheating tests that drivers must pass to get a licence.