On Wednesday, Uber announced many new attributes which will be more secure for the users.
Anonymization is one of the tools launched in the press event in New York. Through it, drivers will no longer be able to keep the accurate information regarding trip’s whereabouts after they have dropped up the rider.
The ride-sharing company also bragged about new artificial intelligence (AI) attributes which will tell if your car was in an accident through your driver’s phone. This new attribute is launched as “Ride Check” and uses GPS and accelerometer of your driver’s phone.
Security for both the rider and driver is a major concern for Uber. In a report in May, it was written that 18 Lyft drivers and 103 Uber drivers sexually harassed the riders. On software level, Uber drivers faced phishing scams in which robbers adopted a sophisticated scheme and stole money from their accounts. Company is also looking out for a way in which you don’t have to give out your address and name to the driver.
In April, Uber announced the anonymization attribute, and on Wednesday, it claimed that this attribute will be first launched in US and then all around the world.
“We want Uber to be the safest transportation platform on the planet,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, claimed on Wednesday.
The company is depending upon AI to fulfil this wish. The new “Ride Check” attribute allows Uber to continuously monitor rides; from its starting time to its ending time, the app is looking into the route being adopted by driver, the speed of the car, and for how long the car stopped.
It is developed to catch any anomalies, like if the car stopped for a long time. In case there is an abnormality, an Uber representative will check if there is any problem by sending a push message to the driver.
If the tool observes any bounces in car’s speed while it is not in motion, it will alert the Uber representative that there might be an accident, Sachin Kansal, Uber’s product management director, described.
“We can’t prevent every rear-ender,” Kansal added. “But what we can do is reach out to the rider and driver and make sure they have help if they need it.”
The attribute also only shows the general location of starting and ending points of the journey, on the map, to the driver. This is to provide security and privacy to the riders, whose apps will still show the location information.
“It is very important to make sure that the rider’s specific pick-up and drop-off addresses are not available to the driver,” Kansal claimed.
Uber also announced a new way for providing the two-factor authentication. Earlier, it was being done through SMS messages which were prone to attacks by hackers. Now on Wednesday, third-party authentication apps, such as Google Authenticator or Duo have been granted permission.
“Please take care of your account, we are giving you the tools to do so,” Kansal informed.