Uber drivers worry new safety tool will tempt riders to retaliate

Uber drivers worry new safety tool will tempt riders to retaliate

A new Uber feature that lets riders “discreetly” report their driver if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable went live in the US and Canada on Wednesday. Drivers say it’s already creating an unfair system for them.

The new feature is meant for nonemergency incidents that make passengers feel unsafe. Uber uses “harsh braking,” “inappropriate remarks” and “my driver doesn’t have a phone mount” as examples. (The ride-hailing giant has a separate 911 button that passengers can use in the event of an emergency.) 

Once riders report nonemergency incidents, a member of Uber’s safety team will follow up with the driver.

Some drivers worry the feature could lead to passengers reporting misunderstandings that in turn cause dings to their records. Drivers are also concerned that passengers might take advantage of the system — exaggerating complaints or making them up — if they think Uber will offer discounts for rides they’re unhappy with. 

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