Taxi-booking app Uber added two features to its app in India – the ability to instantly share journey details and a panic ‘SOS’ button – designed to address concerns over passenger safety.
The move comes after the app was banned in New Delhi following rape allegations against one of its drivers.
‘Send Status’ – which replaces Uber’s existing ‘Share My ETA’ option – lets users share information including live GPS tracking, the driver’s photograph and name as well as the vehicle’s license number, with family and friends.
Users can also send trip details to up to five pre-selected contacts with a couple of taps.
The second feature is an SOS button within the app that lets passengers contact local authorities in case of emergencies.
Updates are available immediately for Android users in India and there are plans for an iOS version as well.
“Our commitment to safety means we’re always working to make riding with Uber the safest and most dependable way to get around,” the company said in a blog post.
Over the last few weeks, Uber has also introduced other safety features in India such as re-verification of drivers by the police, additional background screening and the setting up of a local incident response team.
An Uber spokesman told Reuters that the company plans to launch safety features in other countries as well.
The company has also seen rape allegations against drivers in Chicago and Boston and is trying to overturn bans in France, Spain and South Korea for alleged violations like using unlicensed drivers.
It has also come under scrutiny in Singapore.