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Uber India to add SOS panic button to their app, starting Feb 11th 2015

Online taxi-booking service Uber will be rolling out an update on its app in India, which will install a panic SOS button which will alert the local police in case of an emergency, the company said on its blog, a post titled ‘Our response to the Mumbai Transportation Department‘. Uber also says that it will have a second safety feature called safety net which will allow users to easily share their trip details and real-time location with up to 5 friends and family members. The new features will be rolled out on February 11.

Uber SOS

Uber had also introduced an improved ShareMyETA button that allows passengers to send their complete trip details (including live GPS tracking, driver photo, name and vehicle license number). The company also said that it will be setting up a local and dedicated customer support center that will specialise on resolving critical issues for Uber riders and its driver community in India.

Earlier in January, Uber was sued by the Delhi rape victim for negligence & fraud in the US federal court, and the victim had hired New York-based litigator Douglas Wigdor. Wigdor has apparently said in the lawsuit that Uber’s focus on its bottom line over the safety of its passengers has led to what he describes as “modern day electronic hitchhiking” and this lawsuit should bring about changes that will protect people globally who are unaware of the risks of entering an Uber car.

Recent Uber developments in India

– Uber last week in India had also hired First Advantage, a company which runs background checks, to bring in additional layers of screening over and above its standard transport licensing process which includes address verification, a local criminal court search, and a national criminal database search.

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– It had resumed operations in Delhi last week by applying for a radio taxi license, however the Delhi Transport authority had sent deficiency memos last week to various companies including Uber, asking them to fill in all the missing information in the application.

– Uber had also said that it had opted for a no-profit model in Delhi until “the regulatory ambiguity is resolved”, however a unnamed Delhi transport official however told HuffingtonPost India that this move doesn’t make Uber legal and the ban on Uber will continue in the city and they will continue to impound Uber cabs who continue to operate in the city.

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