Skip to Content
Silicon Valley

Uber is going to start using drivers’ phones to detect crashes

September 6, 2018

On the first anniversary of Dara Khosrowshahi’s taking over at Uber, the ride-hailer announced a suite of new safety features yesterday.

The news: Using the phone’s sensors, including the GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, “Ride Check” will detect if something is amiss. 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 company’s safety operators may also contact passengers to make sure they weren’t injured.

Other safety features: The new system will also reach out to customers when the car stops for too long, ensuring they are safe. Additionally, drivers can now operate the app using their voice—a hands-free alternative to fiddling with their phone while operating a vehicle. The app will also limit drivers’ access to customer pick-up and drop-off locations, keeping addresses anonymous.

Why it matters: These changes come in the wake of the murder of a passenger who used Chinese ride-hailer Didi. Uber’s measures are meant to prevent such an incident from happening on its platform.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.

And that's a problem. Figuring it out is one of the biggest scientific puzzles of our time and a crucial step towards controlling more powerful future models.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Google DeepMind’s new generative model makes Super Mario–like games from scratch

Genie learns how to control games by watching hours and hours of video. It could help train next-gen robots too.

How scientists traced a mysterious covid case back to six toilets

When wastewater surveillance turns into a hunt for a single infected individual, the ethics get tricky.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.