Uber tries to win back India with improved passenger safety

Uber in India

It's no secret that Uber wants to improve its passenger safeguards and rescue its reputation, especially in India -- sexual assault claims led to a Delhi ban amid worries that the ridesharing company wasn't doing enough to screen drivers and protect riders. Now, however, Uber has explained just what it's doing to reassure jittery customers and skeptical governments. On a basic level, the firm is toughening up screening with closer looks at documents and research into more effective background checks. It's also establishing a local team for handling incidents, and an improved ShareMyETA button within the app (debuting first in India) lets you send your hired car's live position and driver details to worried friends.

It wasn't hard to see these moves coming given details revealed earlier in the year. The timing is supremely important, though -- Delhi's Transportation Department is conducting a hearing on December 29th to decide whether or not Uber can resume business in the city. The fledgling transportation outfit knows that its future in India (if not elsewhere) is in doubt if it can't earn cities' trust, and last-minute promises like these might represent its best chance at swaying local officials.

[Image credit: Tengku Bahar/AFP/Getty Images]