Uber is excited to announce its latest safety feature in Ghana: Audio Recording. This feature allows both riders and drivers to record audio during trips – something that drivers have been asking for based on their feedback from roundtable sessions.
This new opt-in audio recording feature has been successfully launched in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria as part of Uber’s ongoing efforts to raise the bar on safety.
As an addition to the suite of safety tools on the app, this feature enables the rider or driver to opt-in to record the audio of a trip at the start of or anytime during the trip by pressing the shield icon on the app and selecting “Record Audio”. While both riders and drivers can record the audio of individual trips, drivers have the option to leave the feature on while they’re actively seeking rides.
Riders and drivers will be aware that this feature is available to others but only the rider will be notified when matched with a driver who has set up audio recordings. The driver will not know when the feature is being used. The file is encrypted and stored on the respective rider and driver’s devices, but no one can listen to the audio; not even Uber. The audio can only be listened to if either the rider or driver decides to submit a safety report. They can attach the audio file, and a trained Uber safety agent will decrypt and review the recording.
This in-app solution leverages a driver or rider’s phone, so no additional hardware is required, which makes it easy to use and available at the touch of a button.
Marjorie Saint-Lot, General Manager for Uber in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire explains “We believe that this feature will improve the conduct of users of the Uber app, as drivers and riders hold each other accountable every step of the way. We have rolled this feature out in other markets where it has proven very successful, and we are hoping to see a similar uptake in Ghana.”
Uber believes the audio recording will improve the overall quality of evidence collected on the safety cases that are reported by both riders and drivers. This means that both riders and drivers will have the ability to record the trip and submit their recordings alongside the safety tickets they’ll submit. By logging a safety incident along with a recording, the rider or driver gives Uber permission to access the file for investigation purposes.
“Verbal altercations, sexual misconduct and other violations can be difficult to investigate without evidence, however, we are confident that through this new feature, will assist Uber in adjudicating such incidents to ensure that the appropriate action is taken,” says Saint-Lot.
Audio Recording follows the recent introduction of Safety Check-Up; a feature that encourages riders to utilize and turn on the safety features available in-app, including Women Rider Preference, Trusted Contacts, Verify My Ride, and RideCheck.
Uber wants to help give drivers and riders the peace of mind needed while they travel from point A to B and believes this is another step in the right direction.
Saint-Lot concludes, “We’re always looking at ways to improve safety on the app. All trips are GPS-tracked, RideCheck can detect unusual routes, your loved ones can follow your route in real time, and you can get private emergency help through the app at the push of a button. We’ll keep working to develop and deliver new features to help enhance the safety and give users more peace of mind when using Uber.”