Uber promises it’s going to get safer.
The last few months have been filled with high-profile stories involving bad Uber drivers with malicious intent. In the past, Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault, kidnapping, and even something as ludicrous-sounding as a hammer attack.
Then, more recently, Uber found themselves under fire after an exec at the company made remarks suggesting that they company could go after any critical journalists. Soon after, it was discovered that a journalist’s history was in fact accessed through the company’s “God mode”.
As this has put the magnifying glass to Uber’s practices, the company has face a series of lawsuits. Uber was just recently sued in its hometown of San Francisco, accused of misleading users over background checks.
And then a driver in India was accused of rape. This seems to be the impetus for Uber’s latest attempt to assuage customer concerns. Uber says that it recently “began a global review to assess the areas where greater investment is required.”
Though that review is still ongoing, Uber says it has some of its “roadmap” to share.
“We believe deeply that, alongside our driver partners, we have built the safest transportation option in 260 cities around the world,” says Philip Cardenas, Head of Global Safety, in a blog post.
“But we have more work to do, and we will do it. Uber is committed to developing new technology tools that improve safety, strengthen and increase the number of cities and countries where background checks are conducted and improve communication with local officials and law enforcement.”
So, what’s the roadmap look like? For one, Uber is “initiating research & development on biometrics and voice verification to build custom tools for enhanced driver screening”. The company is also “finding solutions in many places that range from polygraph exams that fill gaps in available data to adding our own processes on top of existing screening for commercial licenses”.
Uber has also hired a former Amazon exec to head its Global Support team.
“Our 2-way feedback system has introduced unprecedented transparency to transportation. But as our rapid growth continues, our customer service must evolve to keep pace. We are thrilled to announce that Tim Collins is joining Uber to lead Global Support. Prior to joining Uber, Tim spent 15 years at Amazon leading operations and customer support teams,” said Uber.
Though Uber just received a new round of funding and is now estimated as a $40 billion-plus company, it still has a lot of work to do to rebuild customer trust.
Image via Uber