Uber South Africa says it has partnered with multiple security response services in an effort to further ensure the safety and security of its drivers.
These new partnerships will see security and medical services dispatched in emergency situations in a reduced time, in an effort to improve the safety for driver-partners who use the Uber app, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The partnership involves an improvement to Uber’s current security number that is already available to all drivers in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
The security number links to a central control room, where a geo-specific security or medical response partner can be dispatched within minutes – improving response times.
This follows the pilot of SOS buttons in Johannesburg from September to December of 2016, where 500 driver-partner vehicles were fitted with buttons that, when triggered, alerted Uber’s central control room.
“Unfortunately driver-partners have expressed safety concerns, and we are committed to making them feel as safe as possible when using our app. This improvement is a step in the right direction, as we look towards implementing a more technological solution in the future,” said Uber.
The improved security number and partnership agreement will be launching in Johannesburg and will reach Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth in the coming weeks.
By March 2017, all cities in which Uber South Africa operates will support the improved security number, the group said.