New Delhi: Taxi hailing app Uber on Thursday said it has upgraded its ‘SOS button’, which when pressed will now send a real-time alert to the local police control room directly to respond to the emergency.
The US-based firm had introduced the SOS button in February 2015, following concerns of safety after a woman was allegedly raped in New Delhi by a driver working for the firm.
Earlier, using the SOS button, users could dial 100 as well as share their trip details and real-time location with up to five friends and family members.
Now, the police will also receive details like GPS location, rider and driver information like name, photo and vehicle number.
“...we have developed a bespoke solution which is ready to be rolled out across cities in India. Now, when a rider pushes the SOS button, not only will they be connected with the local authorities over the phone but Uber’s backend system will simultaneously generate a real-time ‘SOS alert’ that is sent directly to the local police control room that responds to emergencies,” Uber said in a statement.
The instantaneous alert contains critical information of the relevant trip and is projected on a dedicated screen in the control room of local law enforcement agency, it added.
“We welcome the opportunity to partner with Police departments and other law and order agencies around the country to embrace technology and improve accountability in urban mobility for the benefit of millions of commuters in cities across India,” Uber India Safety Lead Deval Delivala said.
The company said it is in advanced discussions with authorities to launch this solution in multiple cities across India in the coming weeks.
It has already conducted an intensive and successful period of beta-testing in Kolkata, it added.
“This advanced tech upgrade to the existing SOS feature enables the Police to act within moments of being alerted in the rare event of an emergency, and often times, a few seconds make all the difference,” it said.
Uber said local Police will be able to track every SOS alert from an Uber ride real-time within their city with the help of this technology solution.
“It is important that industry and law enforcement take a strong collaborative approach towards ensuring passenger safety. Partnerships like these, where all stakeholders work together as a team with the best interests of the community at heart, will go a long way in making India safer,” former Commissioner of Police, Delhi, B.K. Gupta said.