In response to the tragic murder of a college student who entered a vehicle she mistakenly thought to be her Uber, the ride-hailing company is now rolling out a set of safety features aimed to improve campus safety for riders. Uber’s Campus Safety Initiative has been launched in partnership with the University of South Carolina. It’s a national effort aimed at helping students learn how to avoid fake rideshare drivers.
The new safety features in app include a push notification which will remind users of the Check Your Ride steps just before their car arrives. The alert will first go live in Columbia, South Carolina before rolling out nationwide in the coming days. The steps include making sure you’re getting in the right car by matching the license plate, car make, and model as well the driver photo with the information that’s presented in the app.
The app will also display a clear message from the moment the rider is matched with a driver until the moment the trip starts to remind the rider that they have to confirm the right car. This reminder will be kept in place for a few weeks and Uber will initiate it “periodically” in the future.
Uber has also partnered with the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Police Department to direct riders through the app to a dedicated pickup zone in the Five Points district where they can meet up with their driver. This well-lit area will have law enforcement on hand so that riders and drivers can connect safely and easily. Uber says that it will engage major universities across the United States to do the same in dedicated zones that they select.