Uber has unveiled new measures to enhance the safety of both its drivers and customers, as it continues its PR drive in the UK.

The ride-hailing app announced plans to launch telephone support for users, as well as increased scrutiny of drivers' licencing details and a more proactive approach to reporting serious incidents to the police.

Meanwhile, drivers will be able to share their locations with loved ones or friends, the company said today.

Uber has been under heavy scrutiny since Transport for London (TfL) said it will not renew its licence last year.

Since then, the company has been on a drive to prove it is complying with the rules: last week it announced plans to launch advisory panels of drivers in every city it operates in, alongside a new feedback dubbed UberEngage.

But yesterday TfL pledged to "get tough" on Uber and other ride-hailing apps, including introducing women-only car sharing options and forcing innovative companies to share their data.

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What are the new rules?

24-hour telephone support: Although Uber has previously provided support via email, it says it will provide a phone number for customers and drivers to call from later this year.

Reporting incidents to the police: The company said it will directly pass information about any serious incident to the police. It added that although this policy is already operating in London, it will roll it out across the UK.

More driver info: From next month, users will be given information about their drivers' private hire licence, including the number and which authority provided the licence.

"Share my trip" for drivers: Drivers can now share their whereabouts with a friend or loved one.

National licensing database:Uber said it is backing a bill to ensure licensing decisions are consistent throughout the UK. In the meantime, it said it is working with local councils to make sure drivers who have been refused a licence by one council are not able to use the app in another part of the UK.

Driver hours: A new feature means drivers have to go offline for six straight hours after 10 hours of working.

"With millions of trips across the UK booked through our app each week, the safety of riders and drivers using Uber is a top priority," said Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in the UK.

"Over the last few years we’ve led the way with pioneering technology which enhances safety like GPS tracking of every trip and our two-way rating system.

"But we recognise we can use our technology to go even further in setting a higher standard for private hire and other transport options.

"After listening to feedback from drivers, riders, local regulators and the police we’re introducing a number of new features and changes to enhance driver and passenger safety.

"We’re determined to change the way we do business, so we’ll carry on listening and plan to make other improvements over the coming months."

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Original Article


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