Uber has announced via its online blog that the company is currently undergoing a global investigation looking at potential holes in their safety. The investigation has been spurred by a variety of violent incidents world-wide associated with Uber drivers, resulting in a public call for stricter screening process for drivers. The San Francisco company has hired former Amazon.com Inc. executive Tim Collins to lead the efforts.
While Uber has faced difficult publicity, the start up continues to grow rapidly- it is now present in 260 cities worldwide. Safety concerns are considered by industry analysts to be the primary weakness holding the company back. Most recently, Uber has made the news for an attack in India, as well as for the charging of an Uber driver in Boston for the rape, kidnapping and assault on a woman. Furthermore, district attorneys in California have sued Uber for the misrepresentation of the extent to which the company screens drivers.
In the aforementioned blog post, Phillip Cardenas, head of global safety at Uber, says,
No background check can predict future behavior and no technology can yet fully prevent bad actions… But our responsibility is to leverage every smart tool at our disposal to set the highest standard in safety we can.”
Cardenas claims the company is developing biometric verification to better enhance driver screening, as well as implementing direct immediate communication via which passengers can contact the company in the case of an emergency.
Read more here- “Uber Reviewing Safety Programs Amid Scrutiny of Driver Screening,” (Jillian Ward, Bloomberg)