Raleigh just 1 of 3 US test cities to get audio recording during Uber rides to help with safety

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh is one of three cities in the United State where the ride-share company Uber is testing out a new safety feature.

The new feature allows the rider or driver — or both — to record audio during a trip.

“It’s definitely a thing to have just to know that there’s an extra measure of safety to make me feel comfortable in an Uber,” said Chris Clarke, a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The pilot program launched Tuesday is just one step Uber sad it is taking to make both passengers and drivers feel safe on the road.

“If any incident or uncomfortable situation happens riders and drivers can submit a recording as part of a safety report for us at Uber,” said Uber senior product manager Neil Chopra.

He says neither the driver or passenger can listen to a recording unless an incident is reported.

“This is available to both riders and drivers so just as you might not be able to listen to it yourself the other person in the vehicle if they choose to do the recording they also can’t do so. We want to make sure that this is limited to only being listened to in the case of a potential safety incident and it’s only if you share it to us at Uber,” Chopra said.

So how effective is the new feature?

CBS 17 tested it out ourselves and took an Uber from the N.C. State Campus to the TV station.

The app recorded the entire trip.

At the end of the trip, the app gave the option of deleting the recording or reporting an incident.

In the case you don’t decide to report the incident right away the app gives the option to store the recording for 15 days.

“It feels good especially as a young woman riding with a male driver — it’s nice to know that there’s somebody looking out for me,” said Bella Reeves, an N.C. State University student.

“You never know what cou​ld be told from one side or one perspective or another so I think that would protect both parties,” said Dominique Foster, another N.C. State Student.

Once you do hit the audio recording button it won’t send a notification to the other party, but Uber says riders will be notified of the possibility of the recording when they are matched with a driver.

Uber says they launched the feature in Latin America in 2019 and it is currently being used in 14 countries.

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