Uber is not one to avoid controversy, following allegations of poor business practices against rival Lyft, bribing journalists to write scathing pieces on an editor-in-chief and rape charges on drivers in India and France.
In order to stop this from happening, Uber has set up several new systems for ensuring rider safety and driver behaviour. The first is a code of conduct for drivers on how to behave, which includes all the regular rules taxi drivers should follow: don’t be aggressive, don’t discriminate and provide a safe service.
Uber will also be bringing experts in from police and investigation teams, to audit Uber’s team and make sure rules and regulations are being upheld. It has a new commitment to providing law enforcement with pin-point driver location, in case of emergency.
The taxi sharing company has set up its own service for responding to emergency signals. In India, Uber launched a way for the rider to alert staff of potential issues with the driver. Uber will then send out a team to the exact location of the driver, and alert the local police when that button is pushed.
It looks like Uber has finally caved into the pressure of working with law enforcement and helping people stay safe on the road. It only took two rape charges for them to get serious, but we are glad this is not a small attempt at bringing back its reputation.
The question now is will Uber be able to implement these systems to actually keep riders safe and drivers under control? As it expands to new countries, it might find even tougher challenges as it looks to quell bad drivers and negative PR, to maintain a good reputation throughout the world.