Two in-app safety features that Uber Technologies Inc. had announced on Feb. 6 have gone live in India, and other markets will also get additional safety features, according to an update by the rideshare app company on Wednesday.
The two features are a panic button at the top right corner of the mobile phone app, which allows a passenger to call the local police number and the ability to send information about where a passenger is at in real-time to as many as five pre-selected emergency contacts. The new features are available on the Android version of Uber’s app and will soon be available for iOS users too, according to Uber.
In a post on its blog, Uber added that it would roll out more safety features in other markets in the coming months. However, it isn’t clear if exactly the same features will be rolled out in other markets, with necessary tweaks, or if altogether new features will be introduced.
Uber was banned in India’s capital city, New Delhi, after a woman accused her Uber driver of raping her, in December, but opened for business again on Jan. 22, and has announced various safety measures since then.
The company, which has raised billions of dollars in venture capital, faces strong competition from well-funded local competition across Asia, where Japan’s SoftBank Corp. has invested in local ridesharing startups, including Ola Cabs in India, KuaiDi Dache in China and Malaysia’s GrabTaxi that operates in multiple markets, including Indonesia and Vietnam.
Adding such safety features “is an ongoing effort, and we’ll continue to enhance existing features and invest in smart solutions,” an Uber spokesman said, in an email response to a query from International Business Times. “We haven’t made any additional announcements, but stay tuned for updates in the weeks to come.”