There is a panic button for South African Uber users – here’s how it works

Business in Africa
Uber South Africa's new in-app panic button. Source Uber.
  • Uber South Africa has an in-app panic button for riders.
  • The mobile panic button can be found in Uber’s safety toolkit.
  • Here's how it works.
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South Africans using Uber can now feel a little bit safer on the road, thanks to this in-app panic button.

Since 2014, Uber drivers and riders have faced continued intimidation from especially meter taxi drivers which includes killingsvehicle torchings and acid attacks

The feature is provided by emergency app response designers ICEplus, who have been working with Uber since 2018. 

The mobile panic button can be found in Uber’s safety toolkit, a central place in the app itself where safety features are bundled together, making it easily accessible for users on their home screen. 

Riders can call for assistance directly from the Uber app by tapping the shield icon on the map.

Uber safety app. Source Uber.

Once the in-app button has been activated, riders will be connected to ICEplus Incident Management Centre, where a consultant will assess the nature of the safety incident and will either dispatch a third-party private security company or medical response team to the rider's location.

Uber safety app. Source Uber.

The ICEplus agent will stay on the line with the rider until they are safe.

Uber safety app. Source Uber.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this feature to riders. ICEPlus has integrated perfectly with our app and will provide a better experience for riders,” said Alon Lits, General Manager for Sub Saharan Africa. 

The Safety Toolkit also provides riders with information about Uber’s driver screening processes, rider injury protection, and community guidelines.

This updated feature also includes Trusted Contacts, which allows riders to select up to five people to share trip details with. 

ICEplus has provided support to riders and drivers in a variety of safety incidents, ranging from minor accidents to hijacking and intimidation.

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