Thursday 14 November 2019 12:01 am

Uber launches new safety measures in bid to secure a London licence

Uber passengers will now be able to report discrimination immediately as a part of the app’s push to quell fears about safety and secure a long-term London licence later this month.

The ride-hailing app was given a two-month licence extension by Transport for London (TfL) in September. TfL said it needed to see more evidence that Uber was committed to “ensure passenger safety” before giving it a long-term licence.

Read more: Revealed: TfL tightened Uber’s driver checks in London licence conditions

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed the short-term licence extension – which expires on 25 November – was imposed with several requirements, such as tightening checks on drivers.

The new “discrimination alert” button will allow passengers and drivers to make instantaneous complaints when they feel discriminated against.

The app has also launched a new crash detection feature and introduced new mandatory safety training

A senior Uber employee told City A.M. that the company was confident it had done enough to have its licence renewed by TfL this month.

They also insisted today’s announcements were not because of TfL’s concerns around passenger safety.

“I’m confident the licence will be renewed for longer than two months,” they said.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said the changes showed the company’s willingness to improve its services.

Read more: Uber suffers blow as TfL only grants a two-month licence to continue in London

He said: “There is nothing more important than the safety of our customers and the cities we serve.

“We are using our technology and partnering with the AA to raise the bar on safety, but we won’t stop there because when it comes to safety on our platform, our work is never done.”