Uber’s ‘RideCheck’ feature is headed to cars near you after a year of pilot testing and refinement.
The feature uses the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and other sensors built into smartphones to detect trip irregularities, such as a crash or unexpected long stop. RideCheck will alert both riders and drivers when it detects an irregularity with a notification asking if everything is okay. It includes several answers along with an option to call the authorities or Uber’s safety hotline.
Further, if Uber verifies there has been an accident, it will prompt the rider to call 9-1-1. The company’s team of safety operators may also reach out to ensure the rider is safe when something triggers RideCheck.
The new feature won’t require any new permissions from riders as it’s linked to the driver’s phone instead. Drivers typically keep the app open more and leave it running in the background during trips.
RideCheck uses machine learning and accounts for multiple factors outside of a smartphone’s sensors to avoid false positives, like a dropped phone. Plus, the notification it sends to riders and drivers lets them respond that they’re okay, which should help improve the service over time.
Uber says RideCheck is now live in the U.S. and will come to other countries soon. An Uber spokesperson told MobileSyrup that it had “nothing to announce for RideCheck in Canada at this time.”
Update 09/17/2019 at 5:30pm: Added a statement from Uber regarding the new feature.
Source: The Verge