Decision Maker Response
Jan 15, 2015 — The safety of our riders and drivers is the highest priority for Uber; not only for the rides we enable in New Delhi and across India, but also for the millions of trips taken on our platform around the world.
The tragic event in Delhi was a deeply sobering reminder, that we must always be vigilant in the endeavor to achieve best-in-class safety. Our teams have worked tirelessly in the past month to re-verify all safety aspects of our operations in India. These include document verification, driver-partner background checks, rider feedback and all service support processes.
In more than 260 cities in 53 countries around the world, we sincerely believe we have built the safest transportation option. And in India too, we are working hard to integrate unprecedented transparency and accountability to make Uber the most trusted way to ride around cities.
Our teams have been working around the clock to develop new safety programs, implement global best practices and strengthen existing features and processes so the women of India have the reliable and safe transportation option they deserve and can rely on.
Driver background checks are of prime importance to our riders and something we take very seriously. In India, Uber has always partnered exclusively with commercially licensed and insured driver-partners who are already required to be police verified as part of the transport licensing process. This unfortunate incident has highlighted challenges in the systems due largely to non-digitized record keeping and the lack of a centralised database for criminal offenders. To ensure verifications are legitimate and reliable, more needs to be done at the ground level.
We also know that we can do better, and we are holding ourselves to that promise. Going above and beyond required industry-standards, we are introducing the following measures:
1) Background checks: We’re engaging local and global experts in this field to evaluate and implement the most effective background screening solution across India; pilot programs are already running in select cities, including Delhi.
2) Police Verification: Re-verifying and ensuring that all Uber driver-partners in Delhi and across India have an authentic and valid police verification.
3) Document Verification: A local team of specially-trained safety experts to detect fraud, verify and authenticate driver / vehicle documents and test the validity of our screening
4) Incident Response Team: A local and dedicated customer support center that will specialise in resolving critical issues for our rider and driver community in India
5) In-App Safety Features: Building on the existing ShareMyETA button which has always allowed you to send your complete trip details (including live GPS tracking, driver name, vehicle type and license no.) to your loved ones, the enhancement now also lets you send the driver’s photo. This is the first improvement in many new integrated Uber safety features coming to India.
As a global company, Uber’s vision for safety is clear and firm; here’s a note from the Head of Safety at Uber on his vision for safety (http://blog.uber.com/safety) and roadmap for the coming year.
Our teams continue to explore opportunities to work together with government, authorities and organisations leading the way in women’s safety and empowerment to get you moving again safely.
We also want you to know that we are listening, and we’re seeking your suggestions for improvements, partnerships, and ideas that you would like to see from us. Please share your suggestions with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have appreciated your help and words of encouragement; we will repay that support with action and live up to the trust that you have placed in us.
Deval Delivala, India Safety Lead, Uber Technologies