Uber Making 'Share Your Location' Easier, explained
By Lindsay Trobel
A step forward to ending horror stories of drivers getting beaten by passengers or getting their cars destroyed.
Despite the safety concerns that have always surrounded Uber users, Uber has launched
Share My Trip, which is making the service safer for drivers. Uber customers have
always had the ability to share their location with their friends and family and now so can
drivers. Share My Trip allows drivers to share their location with their friends and family
through the app or through other apps like WhatsApp.
The feature does not only allow drivers to easily share their location, but to let their
friends and family see whether they were on a trip or taking a break so they do not
receive unnecessary phone calls. The function is activated when drivers tap on the
sharing button, which then pulls up your address book. From there, the driver can select
who they want to share their location with and their location is then sent directly to those
People assume customers are the most at risk using the service, but drivers have even
more of a reason to worry. Drivers sign up to navigate sometimes unfamiliar areas with
people they do not know. There are horror stories of drivers getting beaten by passengers
or getting their cars destroyed. However, there are plenty of precautions drivers can take.
Drivers can choose not to work in the early hours of the morning when they run the
highest risk of driving passengers under the influence of alcohol or to avoid certain areas
they feel uncomfortable in.
One driver previously said, “Uber does no training at all. I never felt safe driving for
Uber.” It is impossible for Uber to provide training because all of their drivers are
independent contractors, not employees and they exist all over the world. Because these
drivers are not considered employees, if they get in an accident or a passenger attacks
them, they are responsible for the expenses. Drivers also pay for gas and for any wear and
tear done to their car by using it so frequently to Uber people back and forth.
However, the Share My Trip feature comes with the new initiative by Uber to show their
drivers, the people who singlehandedly help their company succeed, that they care. The
new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is bringing new perks to Uber drivers after the former
CEO Travis Kalanick, was shown in a video arguing with and berating an Uber driver.
Some of those perks include the ability to now tip Uber drivers and the expansion of its
Driver Injury Protection insurance for drivers who lose income from disability as a result
of an accident. Uber has had many safety concerns in the past. The safety concerns come from the fact that Uber does not conduct background checks on its drivers. George Gascon, the San Francisco District Attorney says, “Because it doesn't fingerprint drivers, the background checks are ‘completely worthless.’”
Although Uber users are aware that they are driving with complete strangers, these strangers could very well end up being convicted criminals or untrustworthy drivers. In past years, there have been sexual assault claims along with reports of drunk driving accidents from Uber drivers resulting in injuries and sometimes the deaths of passengers using the service. Uber’s step to protect their drivers using Share My Trip will surely have an impact on profitability and make the company more attractive to potential drivers who were previously unsure of becoming a driver for safety reasons. Uber has taken steps to make their service more safe not only for customers, but for their dedicated drivers that are an
integral part to the service.
Photo Illustration by Marist Business Visual Data