Uber South Africa aims to improve safety and security with new partnerships with multiple security response services.
These new partnerships will see security and medical services dispatched in emergency situations in a reduced time, in an effort to improve the safety for driver-partners who use the Uber app.
The new partnership, involves an improvement to Uber’s current security number that is already available to all drivers in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The security number links to a central control room, where now, a geo-specific security or medical response partner can be dispatched within minutes.
This follows the pilot of SOS buttons in Johannesburg from September to December of 2016, where 500 driver-partner vehicles were fitted with buttons, that when triggered alerted Uber’s central control room.
“We learned a great deal from the pilot last year, most importantly that the response time needed to be reduced,” says David Myers, head of trust and safety: Middle East and Africa at Uber. “So we are rather focussing on our security number operated by a central control room, and making use of multiple private security companies who are location specific to try reduce the response time and get help to partners quicker than before.”
The main difference is that Uber’s previous emergency number put drivers in touch with one dedicated security company that was less localised and did not include medical response.
Uber has now partnered with multiple private security companies because they are ‘geo specific’ or suburb specific; this means help will get to driver-partners far quicker than before. Therefore security officers or patrols don’t need to travel from a different suburb to attend to an emergency; they’re covering a smaller area and response times are therefore far quicker.
The new security number and partnership agreement will be launching in Johannesburg and will reach Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth in the coming weeks. By March 2017, all cities in which Uber South Africa operates will support the news security number.