Audio recording now an optional safety feature in some Uber rides

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you use Uber, there will now be a new safety feature for your ride. Starting Tuesday afternoon the ride share company is introducing a new in-app safety feature that will allow drivers and riders in the Raleigh and Durham area to record audio during trips.

The Triangle is one of three areas in the United States where the feature is being tested.

You can find this feature in the app's safety toolkit. You just tap the shield icon on the map screen and select "Record Audio."

If a driver selects the feature, before the trip begins it will alert the rider. Uber says the audio recording is encrypted and no one can listen to it, unless a complaint is filed with Uber.

Neil Chopra with Uber adds, "If they find themselves in any uncomfortable situation, this allows them to document that to take a recording of it, and then, if they would like to submit that to us in incident report then only then does Uber have any access to it, and then we can listen to the audio as a part of any safety investigation that we have."

Uber adds it hopes this new safety feature gives drivers and riders an added peace of mind.

"We want to know if something uncomfortable happens on a trip, and this is a way to make someone feel empowered to make sure they're having comfortable interactions on the trip and if that's not happening, then they're able to take a recording of that and send it to us so that we can determine on our end if we need to take any action," Chopra said.

Originally launched in Latin America in 2019, the audio recording feature is currently being used in fourteen countries. Uber says nearly 70% of riders and drivers in Rio de Janeiro told them this feature helped them feel safer when using Uber.
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